Muslim Engineer in Kansas sues Boeing Employees Association

❝ A judge has rejected a move by Spirit Boeing Employees Association seeking to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Muslim aerospace engineer alleging discrimination stemming from a party at a Kansas lake.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Tuesday that there remains a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Munir Zanial’s rights were violated on the basis of race, religion or national origin.

❝ The Malaysian national of Indian ancestry rented a pavilion at the group’s lake in 2017 to celebrate Malaysian Independence Day. The lawsuit alleges the association suspended his rental privileges and reported him to authorities.

It alleged an American flag had been desecrated by Islamic State group symbols. But the flag was actually a Malaysian flag and the guests included people of Malaysian Indian ancestry, some wearing hijabs.

Ignorance ain’t bliss, folks. In Kansas it apparently means you might suspect someone of being a dangerous conspiratorial terrorist. Not someone who honors the nation of his birth.

Hemp flag flying over US Capitol for the Fourth of July

Betsy Ross had it right

The flag flying over the Capitol building on the Fourth of July might look like your typical Old Glory. But you probably won’t notice the fibers that make it special. It’s believed to be the first hemp flag to flutter over the dome since the government began outlawing marijuana’s less-recreational cousin back in the 1930s.

Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman is the man responsible for getting the flag, made from Colorado-raised hemp and screen-printed with the stars and stripes, up there.

He cooked up the idea while lobbying Congress this year to include pro-hemp measures in the farm bill. That legislation failed, of course, but the seed of the hemp flag had been planted.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gave Bowman an assist with the details, which included working with the Capitol’s flag office. (The flag program allows people to buy flags flown over the Capitol, so they rotate in new Old Glories nearly every day.)

It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman says, adding that the red, white and blue flying over the Capitol is a reminder of the role that hemp played in the founding and early days of the country. Betsy Ross’s flag was made of hemp, he notes, and Colonial settlers even paid their taxes in the crop — it was used for all kinds of goods, from rope to fabric to paper. Those Conestoga wagons heading west were covered in canvas fashioned from hemp fibers…

After its Capitol flight, the flag will make its way back to Colorado, where it will fly over the state capitol building in Denver. After that, Bowman is sending it out on a tour of state houses in states where there’s legislation pending that would legalize hemp. One of the first up: Vermont.

One more small step – albeit symbolic – for the legalization of hemp, hemp products, and their mellow cousins. Overdue, of course; but, it still takes a couple generations to lever a bit of truth past the dolts who play Let’s Pretend in Congress.

A Coffin, a Flag, a Photograph – coming home

For the first time in 18 years, the Pentagon granted the news media access on Sunday night to cover the arrival of a coffin to Dover Air Force Base from overseas.

The coffin, draped in a flag and bearing the body of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Va, was unloaded from a government aircraft by the military honor guard. Sergeant Myers, 30, was killed by an improvised explosive device near Helmand Province in Afghanistan on April 4, according to the Defense Department.

A ban on news coverage of returning war dead, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, was lifted by the Obama administration following a review of the policy by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In the hours leading up to the transfer of Sergeant Myers’s corpse, Air Force officials received the consent of his family members — per the new policy — to grant members of the news media permission to be on hand.

Welcome home, Sergeant Myers.

Gates ready to consider lifting coffin photo ban

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he may be willing to reconsider a ban on the photographing of slain soliders’ flag-draped coffins.

Gates said that he was ordering a review of the military policy that bars photographers from taking pictures of the return of the coffins, most of which go through Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, The New York Times reported.

“If the needs of the families can be met and the privacy concerns can be addressed, the more honor we can accord these fallen heroes, the better,” Gates told reporters in Washington.

The policy was put into place in 1991 and has been renewed several times, most recently by the Bush administration a year ago. That’s when Gates raised the possibility of changing the policy, he said, but was told by unnamed administration officials that allowing photographers would put undue pressure on families to go to Dover themselves.

Critics say the coffin-photo ban is a political ploy meant to sanitize the unpopular Iraq war.

I’m one of those critics and no one should be surprised over the way that even the deaths of American military personnel wasted in Iraq were used to serve the sleazy political interests of the thugs who used to be in the White House. Everything was supposed to serve their purposes. Everything was a means to their holy ends.

Wil Gates have the integrity to tear down that wall?

Brits fly flag upside-down at UK-China ceremony

The government has said it regrets displaying the Union flag upside down at the signing of a trade agreement.

A plastic flag was flown incorrectly for a ceremony involving Gordon Brown, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Trade Secretary Lord Mandelson.

BBC News website readers got in touch to point out the error.

The Union flag – more commonly described as the Union Jack – has been in use since the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland came into force in 1801.

There is a specific way of hanging it, with the thick white parts of the diagonal cross nearest the flagpole being placed above the thinner white parts.

Mike Kearsley, director general of the Flag Institute, said: “One part of me is concerned that we don’t recognise and understand our own flag but another part of me is amused that it’s a terribly British thing to do.”


Peru wants jail for nude woman using flag as saddle

NSFW – click photo for cover shot

A naked model photographed using Peru’s flag as a saddle while mounted on a horse will face charges that could put her in jail for up to four years for offending patriotic symbols.

The suggestive shot of Leysi Suarez, whose main job is dancing for the band Alma Bella, or Beautiful Soul, was splashed on the cover of DFarandula magazine and has caused a political uproar as Peru prepares to celebrate the 187th anniversary of its independence from Spain on Monday…

Suarez said it was patriotic to pose for the photo. “I haven’t committed a crime. I love Peru and show it with my body and soul,” the dancer said.

Sounds good to me. 🙂