Prayer rooms to be set up at Aussie Rules football stadiums

Establishing a proper sense of quiet reverence

Prayer rooms will be set up at all Aussie Rules stadiums following a request by a devout Muslim player to ensure fans do not have to pray in the car park.

The move prompted claims of “political correctness gone mad” but was largely met with amusement by fans who began issuing prayers for their teams on websites and a newly-created prayer room app for mobile phones.

The sporting code decided last week to introduce the multi-faith rooms as a “demonstration of our inclusiveness” following a request by Bachar Houli, believed to be the first observant Muslim player, who said it would lure more Muslims to the game.

“I speak for the Muslim community, I get complaints [that] there is nowhere to pray other than the car park,” said Mr Houli, who plays for the Richmond club. “It can be quite disturbing [to pray] with people walking through to the game.”

Some Christian and Jewish leaders also backed the rooms, saying they were already common in airports and hospitals.

However the move caused a backlash led by former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, now president of the Hawthorn club, who said the rooms were “absolute rubbish”.

“To put prayer rooms into sporting venues is not part of the Australian lexia, that’s not the way in which we behave,” he told SBS Television…I think it’s an overreaction … It’s not practical, it’s stupid, it’s political correctness gone mad…”

On the message board for Playup’s sports social media app, users issued various prayers for their team to win or for their wives to let them watch without changing the channel

“I pray for the miracle of a pies loss AND a bombers loss today,” said one fan. “Will take a draw if this proves too difficult for the almighty…”

My mates in Oz who belong to the only true religion — followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — are filing a request for the food stalls to begin offering pointy food as required by our religion.

Sites run by black-hat hackers and thieves closed in global raid

Dozens of websites offering credit card details and other private information for sale have been taken down in a global police operation. Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) says raids in Australia, Europe, the UK and US are the culmination of two years of work.

Credit card numbers or bank account details of millions of unsuspecting victims were sold for as little as £2. Two Britons and a man from Macedonia were arrested, with 36 sites shut down.

Some of the websites have been under observation for two years…During that period the details of about two-and-a-half million credit cards were recovered – preventing fraud, according to industry calculations, of at least £0.5 billion…

Not surprisingly, criminal gangs try to recruit the smartest hackers or code-writers to both steal data from unsuspecting internet users, and make their own websites as secure and hard to trace as possible.

But many senior figures at the big internet service providers and domain name registration companies are traditionally anti-establishment and can be suspicious of police interference. They are often reluctant to agree to anything that could be perceived as curtailing the freedom of the web, such as preventing anonymous domain registrations.

SOCA officers and their counterparts at Interpol, the FBI and at other law enforcement agencies around the world, say they have been working hard to “influence” the industry, and they are hoping that those efforts will lead to changes that could make their job easier in future.

Without the help of the industry, or a massive investment in law enforcement, it will be increasingly hard to keep track of the millions of items of illegal data being traded in cyberspace

Of course, the coppers could start hiring geeks of their own. Certainly, the FBI, CIA do that. And the NSA is almost wholly staffed by hackers who are gray – at best.

40,000 Norwegians sing the song right-wing bigots hate

40,000 Norwegians staged an emotionally-charged song protest in Oslo on Thursday near the courthouse where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial for the murder of 77 people.

The protest followed several days of defiant testimony from Breivik who has admitted he killed his victims, but denied criminal guilt, saying he did so in self-defence.

The crowd chose to sing a song – “Children of the Rainbow” – that extols the type of multicultural society Breivik has said he despised and one that he specifically dismissed during the trial as Marxist propaganda.

People then marched several streets to the district courthouse where Breivik is on trial, close to the site where he set off a bomb that killed eight people on July 22. Thousands more Norwegians held similar musical protests in towns across the country…

Harald Foesker…lost 80 per cent of his vision and his face had to be restored afterwards, adding he was proud to live in a country that treated criminal defendants with dignity.

Breivik, 33, has called his victims “traitors” who deserved death for embracing left-wing values which, in his view, opened Europe to a slow-motion Muslim invasion.

Go ahead. Bring a tear to these old eyes.

1% of the population of the nation of Norway gathered to sing about people of all colors and creeds living side-by-side. No wonder ideologues who live on hate and greed dislike this song – and what it stands for.

Creeps like Breivik hate music as much as they hate people who love peace.

Two more Blue Dog Democrats go down to defeat

The winners: Mark Critz and Matt Cartwright

The defeat of two conservative House Democrats by more liberal opponents in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary illustrates the strong hold the new health care law still has over committed Democratic voters and foreshadows an even more polarized Congress next year in the aftermath of the latest round of redistricting.

Representatives Jason Altmire and Tim Holden both lost in primaries to opponents who joined together with activist groups to pummel the veteran lawmakers over the opposition to the new health care law and climate change legislation — positions they had used to their advantage in the past to show their independence from President Obama and the Democratic Party.

“A lot of us thought of his record as his strength,” said Hugh M. Reiley, the chairman of the Schuylkill County Democratic Party, referring to Mr. Holden. “He was not falling prey to all that party bickering. He was able to reach across the aisle…”

He was able to kiss corporate butts and survive by claiming independence – from providing any leadership or courage.

Mr. Altmire, who lost to a fellow incumbent, Representative Mark Critz, after they were thrown into a new district together, was able to ride his health care opposition to re-election in 2010. That position did not sell as well in the new, more Democratic district in western Pennsylvania.

In eastern Pennsylvania, state Republicans stuffed the Democratic cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre into Mr. Holden’s formerly conservative-leaning seat. The result: A 10-term congressman and founding member of the centrist Blue Dog coalition was trounced by a newcomer, Matt Cartwright, a Scranton lawyer who ran hard against Mr. Holden’s moderate chickenshit voting record…

The parties have become more polarized in recent decades, several academic studies have found. The demise of the conservative “Dixiecrats” in the 1960s and ’70s made the Democratic Party more liberal, and Republicans have moved even further to the right than Democrats have moved to the left, the studies show. Elections like Tuesday’s suggest Democrats may be taking the Republicans’ cue, driven by the same activist forces that pushed them rightward…

That’s right. Progressive forces grew in opposition to the deliberate choice of racism as a mandate for the Republican Party.

With the defeat of Mr. Altmire and Mr. Holden, a Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats that peaked in 2010 at 54 dipped prospectively to 23. To advocates for Mr. Critz and Mr. Cartwright, the election showed that Democratic voters are in a fighting mood, and that progressive views are again at the leading edge of the party…

A political moment characterized by polarization from the Right is exactly the appropriate time for those of Center-Left disposition to move further Left. Only cowards and genetic fence-sitters will plead for the “sanity” of reinforcing a middle ground stance.

What better opportunity to move the political will of a nation than when reactionaries expose themselves publicly – stepping out from the shadow of the lies and breast-beating they hide behind for most of their careers?

What better opportunity to shove a few more cowards, mewling pimps for accommodation – out into the cold. We needn’t worry about their employment. Their corporate handlers will find work for them.

Boy Scout den leader dismissed for being a lesbian mom

Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio den leader dismissed by her local Boy Scout troop for being a lesbian, said she’s disappointed her 7-year-old son is no longer participating in the Scouts.

“He’s no longer a Boy Scout,” Tyrrell said Wednesday of removing her son, Cruz, from the group. “And we’re sad about that, but we can’t support an organization that doesn’t support our family.”

Tyrrell is now engaged in a campaign with, a left-leaning political group, to raise awareness of the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, garnering 140,000 signatures and saying that she ultimately wants the national organization to reverse its position.

“This isn’t about my sexuality; this isn’t about anybody’s sexuality,” Tyrrell said. “It’s about teaching children to be better adults, and we aren’t doing that by teaching them to hate or discriminate…”

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that its “membership standards are founded on the values, expectations and beliefs of those we serve…”

The Girl Scouts of America has a decades-old policy of nondiscrimination.

When did teaching children to oppose civil rights, to support bigotry, become a sacred institution? Has the Boy Scouts of America become such an exclusive club that excluding parents is acceptable?

Are the Boy Scouts one more American institution that has been infiltrated and absorbed into some nutball purity movement?

That the Girl Scouts don’t tolerate this crap is one more example of American women being smarter than American men.

Dad plants a wire on his son – records school mistreatment

A New Jersey man has launched a website to publicize what he calls “a culture of bullying” by teachers in his son’s Cherry Hill classroom after sending the boy — who has been diagnosed with autism — to school with a covert recording device.

Stuart Chaifetz said he placed the recorder in the pocket of his 10-year-old son, Akian, in an attempt to find out why staffers at Horace Mann Elementary School had reported that the boy had been acting out and hitting his teachers.

What surfaced was more than six hours of recordings of what he says are teachers and aides apparently talking about alcohol and sex in front of the class, punctuated by yelling at his son to “shut your mouth.”

Chaifetz posted the recording online Monday, which has since led to disciplinary actions, including the removal of at least one teacher, school officials said.

At one point, an adult female voice can be heard saying in the recording, “I had a bottle of wine with my girlfriend last night.” The second female voice asks if she spent the morning “heaving.”

“Oh my God, so bad,” the first woman responds. “The wine won…”

In an online statement, Cherry Hill Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maureen Reusche said that the district investigated the recordings and “responded swiftly and appropriately.”

“I want to assure our parents that the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district and have not since shortly after we received the copy of the recording,” she said.

The question is automatic: Why wasn’t the school system and the principal aware of such crappy treatment of the children in their care? The dad had already complained.

Here’s the website.