Zombie Teddy Bears

I don’t know if this artist is going to start selling them here across the pond anytime soon, but I really want one. You can find the story here.

A British artist has created a range of zombie teddy bears – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Phillip Blackman describes his ‘UndeadTeds‘ as “repurposed soft toys transformed into fluffy, bloody horrors to keep you awake at night”.

The 45-year-old, who lives near Ipswich in Suffolk, makes them using old toys and movie-standard gory effects.

“The inspiration came from a rather obscure in-joke between my partner and I,” he said. “She had a terrible cold at the time and we’d been talking about a gift for a friend’s baby.

“With a very stuffy nose “teddy-bear” kept coming out as “deady-bear” and we joked about zombie teddies that creep from under your bed at night to feast on your brains while you sleep.

“I’d been a fan of the Romero-style Zombies since my teens and in my youth I had obtained some minor qualifications in theatrical and special effects make-up; specifically prosthetics and gore.

“I already knew how to make a person into a zombie, so why not use the same techniques and skills on the teddies!

“Each UndeadTed takes in excess of eight hours to make, not including the time it takes for glue, paint and varnish to dry.

“I price them individually depending on size, complexity, materials used and time taken. Most are listed at around the £40 to £60 mark.

“They’ve all been great fun to make but of all the ones I’ve made so far my favourites are the Valentine ones, holding their torn-out hearts aloft as a grisly gift to their lovers. Horrible.”

I wonder how much £40 to £60 is in American dollars and how much shipping from Britain might cost

Update: Here is Phillip Blackman’s website UndeadTeds. His Etsy store is here. He does ship to America but he is out of stock at the moment. Too bad.

What He Said

I haven’t been following Rand Paul‘s career in the Senate very closely, even though he represents our neighboring state, Kentucky. If this video is any indication, he might have a brilliant career ahead of him.

This is great! I’ve been wanting to ask someone these kinds of questions for years. Why can’t I decide what kind of lightbulb or toilet to use. It’s my life.

But, of course it is not about conserving energy of saving the Earth. It is, and always has been, about power. Maybe if we can get a few more Rand Pauls into the Senate, things will change.

The President is not Our Father

Way back when Rush Limbaugh had his television show, he liked to show this video from one of the 1992 Presidential debates.

I am as nauseated by this man stating that we are symbolically the President’s children as I was when I first saw this. I might have hoped that this sentiment might have lessened over time, but I guess with Obama it is as strong as ever. Here is a more recent video of Chris Rock saying the President and First Lady are our father and mother.

No, no, no. No, Ponytail guy, the president is not our father and we are not his children. No, Chris Rock, we are not obligated to support the President’s policies.

The Russian peasants used to refer to the Czar as “our little father’, little only in so far as God was the Great Father. This usage is appropriate for slaves and serfs of a despotic monarch. It is utterly wrong for free born Americans to refer to our leaders in such a way. We are not serfs. The President is not our master any more than he is our father. Rather, he and all the other politicians are our servants. The sooner we get that into our heads and treat them as particularly undependable servants, apt to steal the silver when not supervised closely, the better and freer we shall be.

United in Hate

Cover of "United in Hate: The Left's Roma...
Cover via Amazon

 

When Jamie Glazov’s dissident parents escaped from the Soviet Union and immigrated to America, they were surprised to discover that American intellectuals were hostile to them. These leftists opposed their attempts to tell their stories about the continuing oppression of the Soviet government.  The leftists opposed their own country and longed for its defeat while supporting every mass murdering dictator, no matter how vile. Growing up, Glazov had to wonder why these people could be so opposed to freedom.

 
Why do progressives who profess to care about equality, civil rights, social justice, and who endlessly criticize the West, and particularly the United States for not abiding by their high standards, ignore the worst violations of the most basic concepts of human rights by totalitarian regimes abroad? Perhaps they are taken in by these governments’ propaganda. The Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China., Fidel Castro’s Cuba and others have all tried to persuade the world that they are utopias of freedom and plenty. Yet, the truth about all of these regimes has been readily available to any who have cared to look. Why then have progressives never bothered to look. Even worse, why when they have visited such miserable hellholes of tyranny and poverty have they never looked beyond the guided tours furnished by government agents to see the truth about the countries they are visiting?

 

More recently, progressives have supported movements that have made no pretense of supporting modern concepts of human rights. I am referring, of course, to the contemporary trend among progressives to support Islamic fascists and terrorists. These people are perhaps the least progressive people in the world, with seventh century ideas about religious tolerance and gender relations, yet progressives who support feminism and gay marriage fully support people who stone homosexuals and compel women to cover themselves. Why?

 

Jamie Glazov has an answer in his book United in Hate. He describes people of the left (Not necessarily liberals, liberals such as Harry Truman and Hubert Humphrey, not to mention John F Kennedy were dedicated to the cause of defeating the tyranny of the Communists) as people who have become profoundly alienated from their own society. These people seek to submerge themselves into a great cause, to extinguish their own individuality, which has only caused them pain, into a collective whole. It is not themselves that is at fault for their alienation, it is the greater society in which they live. Therefore, they seek to identify with the victims, real or imagined, of that society and develop apocalyptic fantasies of destroying it to make a better world. The details of that better world are seldom developed in detail. It is the destruction that appeals to them.

 

This explains, according to Glazov, the progressive fondness for mass murderers. They are attracted to power and nowhere is power more manifested than in the destruction of millions of human beings. Moreover, mass death and destruction suited their apocalyptic worldview. Radicals adored the Soviet Union of Stalin or the China of Mao. They have had considerably less fondness for their more moderate successors. Stalin and Mao are preferable to Brezhnev and Deng Xiaoping precisely because the former were mass murderers and the latter were not.

 

This leads then to the progressive support of radical Islam. Not only are Islamic terrorists enemies of the West and share a common enemy with the Progressives, but Islam can be, like Communism and Fascism a totalizing political ideology in which individuals are completely subordinated to the state, or in Islam’s case the ummah or worldwide religious community of Islam. It is noteworthy that the progressives have little use or support for more moderate or liberal interpretations of Islam. Then in addition, like Christianity and, to a considerably lesser extent Judaism, Islam has an apocalyptic tradition that appeals to the progressive.

 

I have only scratched the surface of Jamie Glazov’s thesis and have hardly mentioned his detailed accounts of the progressive support of various Communist regimes. I strongly encourage anyone to read this book and learn why progressives seem to always support the cause of tyranny and death.

 

 

 

 

 

Hijab for a Day

Here is a bit of nonsense reported by the BBC. The idea is that non-Muslim women should wear a hajib for a day and this will somehow increase understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims and help to end the dreadful specter of Islamophobia.

World Hijab Day calls on non-Muslim women to try out life under the traditional head scarf. Can it lead to more religious tolerance and understanding?

“Because I’m not very skilled I’m wearing what you could call a one-piece hijab – you just pull it over your head. But I’ve discovered the scope is endless. There are all sorts of options.”

So says Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK. She had always wanted to try a headscarf but, as a non-Muslim, didn’t think it an option. So, when given the opportunity by a friend to try wearing the scarf, she took it.

“She assured me that I didn’t need to be Muslim, that it was just about modesty, although obviously linked to Islam, so I thought, ‘why not?'”

Rhodes is one of hundreds of non-Muslims who will be wearing the headscarf as part of the first annual World Hijab Day on 1 February.

Originated by New York woman Nazma Khan, the movement has been organised almost solely over social networking sites. It has attracted interest from Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world.

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and divisiveness. It’s a visible target that often bears the brunt of a larger debate about Islam in the West.

World Hijab Day is designed to counteract these controversies. It encourages non-Muslim women (or even Muslim women who do not ordinarily wear one) to don the hijab and experience what it’s like to do so, as part of a bid to foster better understanding.

“Growing up in the Bronx, in NYC, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab,” says organiser Khan, who moved to New York from Bangladesh aged 11. She was the only “hijabi” (a word for someone who wears the headscarf) in her school.

“In middle school I was ‘Batman’ or ‘ninja,'” she says.

“When I moved on to college it was just after 9/11, so they would call me Osama Bin Laden or terrorist. It was awful.

“I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves.”

Non-Muslims are not the ones who need to learn about tolerance. If Khan thinks she has been badly treated by some name calling, what does she have to say about the fate of women in Muslim countries who choose not to wear a hajib or veil.

If your an unveiled female then watch out, because soon enough you might be getting your hair burned or if “the gang” is having a good day, then they will only end up shaving it all of.

A couple of weeks ago when the two 12 year old girls in aswan got their hair cut by their teacher for not wearing the veil, we said ok, ONE crazy woman, don’t be happening again.

Two ladies wearing the Niqab attached two coptic unveiled females on the metro. The first victim was the 13 year old magy, “you can’t imagine what I am going to do to you” said one of the attackers out of the blue to little magy, seconds later magy was shocked to see that her hair is on the back of her jacket, an unexpected hair cut.

The second incident which was reported by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Two women wearing the Niqab attacked the 30 year old Nariman Samuel, dragging her off the metro carriage violently. Samuel was attached while trying to help a pregnant women sit on the metro, right before the attackers called her an “Infidel” and injured her.

This brings us to last Saturday’s events, where six women “the gang” wearing Niqab attacked another unveiled women outside the high court at around 8pm. They beat her and attempted to burn her hair. Thankfully two men were able to save her before she got seriously hurt.

If Khan thinks there is discrimination against Muslims in western countries, what does she have to say about the often horrific discrimination against non-Muslims in Muslims countries.

Christian communities and individuals have played a vital role in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, as of other religions.  Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Castelgandolfo on September 2, 2007, is not alone in warning that “[c]hurches in the Middle East are threatened in their very existence.”

The outlook for Christians is indeed bleak.  The Arab countries have not abided by the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights (Article 18) of December 1948, which states that “[e]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”  Discrimination against non-Muslims has always been present in the Arab Muslim world.  In the Ottoman Empire, as elsewhere, Christians were second-class subjects, except for a short period after 1856 when the sultan conceded the principle of equality of the law to all subjects.

No reliable census has been available in Arab countries for many years, but the estimate of Christians in the Middle East numbers about 12 million.  Accused of identification with Western colonialism and imperialism, they are now facing aggravating hostility and persecution of various kinds.  The Christians and their institutions, in a context of internecine wars in the area, a falling birth rate in the midst of an increase in the number of Muslims, and the political rise of extreme Islamist groups, face physical brutality; destruction of their churches; discrimination in basic rights as well as in employment opportunities; boycotts of their businesses; and malignity in many forms of popular culture, television programs, and school textbooks.  They are unable to practice or have difficulty in practicing their faith and fear prosecution by law for offences of apostasy and blasphemy, devices intended to intimidate or prevent critical speech.

Even those regimes and ideas, such as Nasserism, Pan-Arabism, and Arab nationalism, which in the past exemplified to some extent moderation in religious matters regarding Christians, now play a less significant role.

Increasing violence and brutality against Christians is now evident in almost all the Arab countries, except Jordan under the relatively benign King Abdullah.  Even there, those Muslims who converted to Christianity face severe discrimination.

Just a little bit worse than a bit of name calling, wouldn’t you say? If we really want to improve understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, how about a let’s pretend women are human beings day? Or, why not a let’s not go into a murderous frenzy every time someone insults the prophet Mohammed day? This might do a whole lot more good towards promoting civilized behavior than wearing a hijab would.

 

 

Chicago Murder Rate Higher Now Than in Capone’s Day

While not at a record high, that was in the 1990’s, the present murder rate in Chicago exceeds that of the fabled days of Al Capone and the Chicago gangs. The details are here in this piece from the local ABC affiliate.

In this I-Team report, Chicago’s rising murder rate in a new context, how the numbers of shooting deaths compare to the city’s most notorious crime era, the one that has tarnished Chicago’s reputation around the world for a century.

The surprising stats show the city is worse off now in the category of murder than at the height of the era that has driven Chicago’s reputation for almost a century, Capone’s “gangland” Chicago.

Let’s compare two months: January 1929, leading up to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and last month, January 2013. Forty-two people were killed in Chicago last month, the most in January since 2002, and far worse than the city’s most notorious crime era at the end of the Roaring Twenties.

Even though the image of Chicago, perpetuated by Hollywood over the years, was that mobsters routinely mowed down people on the streets, the crime stats tell a different story. January 2013’s bloodshed has caught the attention of Chicagoans, politicians, the White House and people around the world.

In January 1929 there were 26 killings. Forty-two people were killed in Chicago last month, the most in January since 2002, and far worse than the city’s most notorious crime era at the end of the Roaring Twenties.

Even though the image of Chicago, perpetuated by Hollywood over the years, was that mobsters routinely mowed down people on the streets, the crime stats tell a different story. The figures from January 2013 are significantly higher than the January of Al Capone’s most famous year.

With Friday’s fatal gunshot attack on a vehicle on a Lake Shore Drive, February is starting as January left off. But if the current murder rate continues, February 2013 will far exceed February 1929, when there were 26 killings, and that number includes the attack known around the world, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In that single slaughter, seven people were lined up against a warehouse wall on North Clark Street and gunned down. It was a bootlegging dispute between North and South Side mob gangs.

That hasn’t changed between then and now, as police today cite street gangs and drugs for the rise in killings.

The 42 murders in January is nowhere near the most ever in a month, but even that figure is not from the rat-a-tat-tat years. It is from the early 90s, when police also said a mix of gangs and drugs fueled the tremendous number of killings.

I am at a loss as to how this could be. Chicago has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. The murder rate there should be the lowest in the country, unless, there is only a tenuous link between gun control laws and the crime rate. No, that couldn’t be true. No doubt those gun nuts have weakened the laws since Capone’s day. But wait, the article goes on.

There was no real gun control back in Capone’s day. The first national firearms act wasn’t signed until 1934. It required approval of the local police chief, federally registered fingerprints, federal background check and a $200 tax.

Could it be just barely possible that strict gun control laws have little or no effect on the murder rate? Could it be that disarming the law abiding citizens of a given jurisdiction might actually increase the crime rate since the risk to criminals is lessened? No, it must be some sort of strange anomaly.

 

Burkas for Babies

Maybe, I just need to stop reading the news for a while. The more I read, the more I am convinced that the whole world is going mad, which is a very depressing thought. The latest outrage against sanity is a fatwa issued by a Saudi cleric, (actually anything coming out of Saudi Arabia is likely to be some kind of outrage), that baby girls should be veiled to keep away child molesters. The Drudge Report has a link to the story in Al Arabiya News.

A Saudi cleric has called for all female babies to be fully covered by wearing the face veil, commonly known as the burka, citing reports of little girls being sexually molested.

In a TV interview on the Islamic al-Majd TV, which seems to date back to mid-last year, Sheikh Abdullah Daoud, stressed that wearing the veil will protect baby girls. The Sheikh tried to back his assertion with claims of sexual molestation against babies in the kingdom, quoting unnamed medical and security sources.

Recently picked up on social media, Sheikh Dauod’s statement prompted wide condemnation from his fellow Saudis on Twitter. Some tweeps called for the Sheikh to be held accountable because his ruling denigrates Islam and breaches individual privacy.

Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, told Al Arabiya that Dauod’s ruling was denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad.

Jzlana urged people to ignore unregulated fatwas and explained that there are special regulations set by the Saudi authorities to administer religious edicts and appoint those who are entitled to issue them.

He said that he feels sad whenever he sees a family walking around with a veiled baby, describing that as injustice to children.

Not that their regulated fatwas are much saner. It occurs to me that the person most likely to abuse a little girl would be a male relative, or someone who has access to the child, especially given the nature of Saudi society, making it largely irrelevant whether the baby goes out covered up. It also occurs to me that the strict rules regulating interactions between the sexes found in Islam seem to imply that people, especially men, are simply unable to control their urges, that is if a man rapes a woman wearing a mini-skirt, he simply couldn’t stop himself. It seems a rather pessimisic assessment of human nature.