Ahmed’s clock and bigotry in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Sarah Palin hates scienceChris Matthews, Keith Olbermann comment

31 October 2008

What a busy day for Sarah Palin. Besides giving a deposition on her role in troopergate (see: ethics, abuse of power), and dropping a hockey puck in St. Louis, she also managed to screw up her first policy speech. Via Think Progress:

For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference.

Palin claimed that the amount that Congress spends on earmarks “is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA.” She then ridiculed some of the projects — such as “fruit fly research” — saying they have little or no value:

Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] Youve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

Damn those earmarks! Wasting good money on fruit fly research:

[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.

The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.

Source: here.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Bright Ahmed’s clocking on at the White House

Tuesday 22nd September 2015

ONE thing is obvious. Fourteen-year-old Texas schoolboy Ahmed Mohamed is a lot brighter than the Republican Party’s favourite Sarah Palin. That’s not a personal attack — it is just the obvious truth.

Palin has attacked President Barack Obama for inviting young Ahmed to the White House after he was wrongly arrested and handcuffed — mainly for looking like a Muslim and building a clock that actually didn’t look much like a bomb.

Ahmed was detained for making a clock that his teacher assumed was a bomb. Palin declared: “Right. That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England.

“Ahmed Mohamed, an evidently obstinate-answering student,” she continued, “was bringing in a homemade clock that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption.”

In reality the bright young schoolboy created a sophisticated electric clock built into a pencil box for his school science fair.

Science fairs are an inspired part of technology teaching in the US that encourage students to make exciting projects. A huge web-based world and a vast mail order industry offers all sorts of sometimes extraordinarily complex science fair experiments.

Sadly his teachers took one look at the device and his Muslim appearance, accused him of building a bomb and had him arrested. Ahmed was taken from his school to police headquarters, where he was interrogated about his intentions with the device with particular questioning focused on his surname and Muslim appearance.

Ahmed’s father expressed his anger at his son’s treatment. “My kid was hurt and was tortured and arrested and mistreated in front of his friends inside of the school,” he said. “That is not America.”

Just a few weeks ago in a Morning Star feature about the Birmingham Six (Morning Star August 15), I wrote that in the 1960s British police could arrest you for looking “a bit Irish.” That philosophy, it seems, is alive and well — but now it is looking “a bit Muslim” that can get you into trouble.

Islamophobia shows its ugly face all over the globe. But the case last week in Irving, Texas, takes some beating.

Ahmed’s parents came to the US from Sudan. They settled in Irving. There, at the Sam Houston middle school, their son Ahmed became known as the kid who made crazy contraptions.

His classmates brought him their broken electronic devices and Ahmed fixed them. He built a radio-controlled car that could run on land and underwater. He built his own phone charger. His school mates called him the “Inventor Kid.”

Then just a few weeks ago he started his freshman year at MacArthur high school, where no-one knew him. The tall kid in the geek’s glasses did what he did best; he built something.

Ahmed’s clock wasn’t a beautiful thing, but his inventions never were. His clock was a mess of wires and circuitry but it kept perfect time.

When he proudly took it to school his teacher took one look and called the police. Ahmed didn’t get a gold star. Instead he got three days’ suspension from school.

Then the police took over, the student was handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police headquarters by Irving officers.

Irving has a history of Islamaphobia. This March local Mayor Beth Van Duyne accused local mosque leaders of attempting to set up a shadow court system following Islamic law.

The imams said they were merely mediating minor disputes, not bypassing or contradicting US law. Nonetheless, Van Duyne and the Irving City Council passed a resolution supporting a Texas anti-Sharia Bill.

The predictable happened: angry crowds assembled outside mosques, and local Muslims requested police security after racist threats.

Khalid Hamideh, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Irving, said: “The mayor is a crusader on the fringes of the far-right, and unfortunately there are some misinformed people who listen to her.”

Ahmed’s siblings say they are increasingly regarded with suspicion and disdain. One of his sisters had to leave a new job after her boss tried to force her to remove her head scarf
while at work.

In Ahmed’s case all official police charges were dropped, but the school suspension stuck. Reactionary and racist Van Duyne publicly announced her support for the actions of the school and police.

Obama took a different view. He invited Ahmed to come and see him at the White House saying: “Cool clock, Ahmed.

Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science…”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg invited Ahmed to visit him too and Twitter asked if he wanted to work for them as an intern.

Ahmed is now the centre of a movement supporting scientific curiosity among school students and denouncing any sort of racism, but sadly — as Sarah Palin has proved once again — Islamaphobia is alive and well.

Waterboarding ban by US Obama administration

This is a video about the United States Bush’s administration’s torture policy; especially about waterboarding.

From Reuters:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ruled out the use of “waterboarding” as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects on Monday, calling it a form of torture that the Obama administration could never condone.

Waterboarding is torture … My Justice Department will not justify it, will not rationalize it and will not condone it,” Holder, who his heading a review of the treatment of terrorism suspects, said in a speech to the Jewish Council of Public Affairs in Washington.

Sarah Palin: ‘Waterboarding Is How We’d Baptize Terrorists’ If I Were In Charge: here.

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US protects beluga despite Palin

This video says about itself:

Allya the Beluga whale at an aquarium in western Japan has learned to blow bubble rings. In the wild, some dolphins and whales blow bubble rings by inhaling air through their blowholes and releasing it through their mouths underwater. But thanks to scuba diving equipment, Allya can do it anytime.

Allya clearly loves interacting with her audience. She aims the bubbles at spectators as they peer in through the glass.

From British daily The Independent:

US protects beluga whale despite Palin opposition

By Dan Joling, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The beluga whales of Alaska’s Cook Inlet are endangered and require additional protection to survive, the US government declared yesterday, contradicting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who has questioned whether the distinctive white whales are actually declining.

It was the Republican vice presidential candidate‘s second environmental slap from Washington this year. She has asked federal courts to overturn an Interior Department decision declaring polar bears threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Cook Inlet beluga population in steady decline: here.

Palin, Eric Robert Rudolph vs. William Ayers: here.