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The Standard for Terrorism: Fatalities – Paris, November 13, 130+ dead. Oregon…zero.

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Oregon Terror?  In Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, 130 people died. In Oregon, a bunch of fools have killed or harmed…zero. Yet some journalists are outraged that not enough in the media deem Oregon “terror.”

Last year, when I wrote about the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslims for The Express Tribune Blogs, I revisited the definition of terrorism because the term is oft misused.

Victim of Terror – Bataclan, November 13, 2015

From my Chapel Hill article:  “Here’s the FBI’s definition of terrorism: ‘To intimidate or coerce a civilian population (or) influence the policy of a government./Violence or the threat of violence, especially bombing, kidnapping, and assassination, carried out for political purposes.’…”

Threat of Violence:  A case can be made that the Oregon folk are terrorists because they have threatened violence under the guise of self defense. This is a very liberal interpretation, all inclusive, and thus meaningless. Civilians are not involved, and there have been no victims.

Where are the victims?

My take at Express Tribune:  “Use of corrupted words relates to poor journalism and exhibit one is how the coverage of domestic controversy in the United States lacks rigid examination of facts, a fair analysis of both sides and proper context.

This is not only unique to underground blogs, but endemic in mainstream media as well, where the focus excessively becomes about the race and religion of those involved. While identity is important, it’s as important to adhere to a standard of objectivity when reporting on these issues.

This is evident in the first drama du jour of 2016 where Caucasian armed protestors have occupied a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon to protest government laws concerning land use and the incarceration of two farmers for setting fire to state-owned land.

The polemics are about the dynamics of controlled burns, property rights, and conservation laws, tied in with militia movements. Yet too many articles entail soft demagoguery, framing the issue as definitely one of race and terrorism. This creates a Sisyphean need to perpetually educate the public, proving to be a burden for journalists. Jesse Walker, dissecting Malheur at the Los Angeles Times, writes,…more

Written by Caleb Powell

January 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Tag, You’re Racist! Bahar Mustafa, 2015’s Worst White Woman

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Bahar Mustafa: 2015’s Worst White Woman

White Woman Rachel Dolezal

Rachel’s Blonde!

I can’t be racist because I’m an ethnic minority woman.” – Bahar Mustafa

Racism:  belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” Merriam-Webster

White Person:  “…a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.” Census Bureau

Bahar’s, in her own words, is a Turkish Cypriot, thus 100% European origin.

Leah Finnegan:  Last year’s “Worst White Woman”, Leah Finnegan, earned the crown for displaying a whole bowl of guilt. But who will supplant Leah?

Rachel Dolezal or Bahar Mustafa?

Kiss me, I’m white!

Rachel Dolezal:  This white woman got bashed for pretending she’s black. Dolezal suffers from a fault of wisdom. Solidarity with the oppressed is one thing, her attempt missed, but the cause may have been just. Her sin, while silly, not so horrible.

Bahar Mustafa:  She Tweeted #KillAllWhiteMen! She banned white cisgender men from a diversity event, despite being Turkish, and thus white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha ha. Nevertheless, she’s the winner of 2015’s Worst White Woman!

Bahar Charged –  Independent UK
What Kind of Patriarchy Would Let Bahar Keep Job – Thought Catalog
Rachel Dolezal – Daily Mail
I Can’t Be Racist– BBC
Are Turkish People White?
Vote for Bahar

Written by Caleb Powell

December 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Reformer vs. Regressive: Ali A. Rizvi vs. C.J. Werleman

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Ali A. Rizvi vs. C. J. Werleman


Reformer vs. Regressive

The Rizvi/Werleman clash exemplifies this dialectic:  reformed Islam vs. regressive Islam. At crux is the idea of cultural superiority or ethnic superiority. You cannot believe in both. You either believe cultures are equal but human subgroups are not (this makes you a bigot). OR:  you believe that humans deserve equal treatment but cultures do not (this makes you a humanist).

Example:  See Sarah Haider vs. Reza Aslan. Cultures that believe women/minorities (ethnic and religious)/homosexuals are inferior are, in fact, inferior to cultures that think women/minorities (ethnic and religious)/homosexuals deserve equal rights. The Reformer pushes humanism, the Regressive protects bigotry.

C J WerlemanReformer:  One standard, believes humans deserve equal treatment but cultures don’t, objectively looks at religious texts; thinks South Asians, Africans, & Middle Easterners want equal rights, progress, and are able to enjoy and utilize free speech, including criticism.

Regressive:  Two standards, believes cultures deserve equal treatment but humans don’t, selectively looks at religious texts; thinks South Asians, Africans, & Middle Easterners cannot handle equal rights or criticism.

Here are some past, present, and future battlers in this competition of ideas:

Reformer                                 VS.                                    Regressive
Raif Badawi
(imprisoned)                                                            Ben Affleck

Karima Bennoune (father assassinated)                                        Reza Aslan
Bassem Eid                                                                               Max Blumenthal
Mona Eltahawy                                                                        Glenn Greenwald
Sarah Haider                                                                                 Mehdi Hasan
Pervez Hoodbhoy                                                                  Ibrahim Hooper
Waleed Al Husseini                                                                     Nathan Lean
Kenan Malik                                                                           Dean Obeidallah
Irshad Manji                                                                                         Mo Ansar
Faisal Saeed al Mutar                                                            Murtaza Hussain
Maajid Nawaz
                                                                              Rula Jebreal
Asra Nomani                                                                             Linda Sarsour
Raheel Raza                                                                 David Shariatmadari
Ali A . Rizvi                                                                         C.J. Werleman
Ziauddin Sardar                                                                     Cenk Uygur
Malala Yousafzai                                                                 Sayeeda Warsi
Bassem Youssef                                                                     Harris Zafar

For more on reformers and regressives, check out:
Who’s Who in Islam
Muslim Group Calls Out PC Culture for Being too Afraid to Take Down Islamic Extremism
The Regressive Shuffle – Connor McKenna
2015 – Rise of the Regressive
Time for Self-Examination – WaPost

Written by Caleb Powell

December 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Tag You’re Racist! The Myth of the White Male Shooter

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“White people — almost exclusively white men — committed some 64% of the shootings….Black people committed close to 16% of the mass shooting…it turns out that whites and blacks are pretty proportionate to their population…”CNN

The Myth:  Whites predominantly are behind mass shootings

Gawker: A Year in Mass Shootings

Vice “Reports”: Poorly researched articles, as this by Vice, share blame. Author Josiah M. Hesse cites Mother Jones, and concludes, “So white men have been responsible for about 63 percent of mass shootings in that span, despite comprising a far smaller portion of the total population.” But the US Census shows whites make up 77.4% of the population. So why does the myth of the “Male White Shooter” persist?

Journalism Creates Myth:  Like other prevalent myths such as “Gun crimes are increasing,” media laziness is to blame. Research shows gun crimes, and all crimes are decreasing. See “No Increase in Shootings” or Steven Pinker’s thoroughly researched The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak, Public Unaware – PEW Research

Fact Check!  How do we solve this as journalists and individuals? Fact check. For those who do not know how to use Google, there’s a great site called Let Me Google That For You. I’m talking to you, Vice “writer” Josiah (Yes, Josiah, non-Hispanic whites = 63%, but it still doesn’t explain how your shoddy research considers this a “smaller portion”).

What’s Not a Myth:  Mass shooters are predominantly male.

The Myth of the Cop Killing “Epidemic”

Written by Caleb Powell

October 25, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Capleton vs. Matisyahu

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Capleton Matisyahu

Sunsplash:  In Spain, a Music Festival demanded that a Jew speak against Israel. He didn’t. The festival took back the invitation. But they were okay that one of their artists incites GLBT hatred.

Capleton:  “Dem fire apply do di lesbian / All boogaman (gays) and sodomites fi get killed.”

Matisyahu:  “Treat people the same. Stop with the violence. Down with the hate.”

Jorge Drexler, who lives in Spain, called out festival organizers for barring Matisyahu’s performance, but featuring Capleton, known for his anti-gay views and lyrics, in the line-up.”

This Ain’t Saudi Arabia, it’s Europe, and hypocrisy can be seen in the Sunspalsh gesture, one that stands as a metaphor for bigotry and contradictions.

Taking Sides:  In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to support the Palestinians necessitates condemning the excesses of the Israeli government, Hamas, and the PA. Bellicose attitudes on both sides have contributed toward suffering. It’s reasonable to see why a Palestinian views Israel with distrust, and vice-versa. What’s not reasonable is a European music festival promoting anti-Semitism while welcoming a reggae artist whose lyrics promote killing homosexuals.

Related:  South African Protesters Threaten to Kill Jews

Update:  Spanish festival re-invites Matisyahu (That was quick!)

Written by Caleb Powell

August 19, 2015 at 5:05 am

Netanyahu’s Victory

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From The Express Tribune“What Netanyahu’s Victory Means for Palestinians”:  “There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. Hatred will continue. As long as the ideology framed in the Hamas Charter holds power – even with Netanyahu being replaced by, say, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa – peace will be unattainable.”…more

(My above quote, lest I be accused of plagiarism, in full context, “The following has been repeated often, but if Israel got rid of their weapons, Israel would be annihilated. If Palestine got rid of their weapons, there would be instant peace and Palestinian statehood.”)

Written by Caleb Powell

April 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

David Shields: “I mean, all you’re doing is fucking me over.”

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From the Los Angeles Review of Books (5:49):

Caleb Powell: Why did you get so angry about the letter?
David Shields:
Good question…I mean, all you’re doing is fucking me over. (Riding Lawn Mower video)
Caleb Powell: …I have a license to antagonize, ’cause anything I do wrong to you will end up helping us.

Our book launch for I Thing You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel at University Bookstore coincides with Charlie Hebdo massacre (52:03):

Caleb Powell: We should bomb the world with images that offend these terrorists
David Shields: That’s a typical sort of Caleb move, which is ostensibly about politics but is really meant to reflect a sort of moral glory on himself.

Written by Caleb Powell

February 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm


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