Arabs, what do you think of this picture?

obama-jon-faveau-speechwriter-groperAre you Arab?  Do you know Arabs?  What do you think of this picture?

This is Jon Favreau.  He writes speeches for Barack Obama.  He is the one on the left.  Oh, look, where is his hand?  He put this picture on Facebook.

The large, life-size photograph is a cardboard cutout of Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama’s new Secretary of State.

Where did Jon Favreau get this cutout? The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had these cutouts in some of their offices. Volunteers liked to take their pictures with the cutout. Here are some pictures of the Hillary cutout from the Denver office, and people taking their picture with it (up in the top left corner).
hillary-cutout hillry-cutout-at-denver1-circled
Yesterday someone asked me what Arabs would think about this photo:

Nijma,

You have Middle Eastern background, don’t you? What will Muslims over there think of the Favreau photo when it reaches them?

Two men and a married woman…. Isn’t that some sort of crime?

Here was my answer:

It’s not usually so much a question of religion but of culture. I lived in the Middle East for a couple years, but it’s a huge place with more than one language and ethnic group, and I can only tell you about the Arabs I was in contact with.

The guy with the bottle–big harram (forbidden, like wasting bread). They might tipple a bit in private with the doors locked, or add something stealthy to a styrofoam cup, (guys only, of course) but public consumption of alcohol is a really big no-no.

Photograph of Hillary? Women over there rarely allow themselves to be photographed–it’s probably more or less up to the husband. But the reason is that the Arab “boyz” will invariably start making x-rated comments. Even a hint of impropriety, and the woman could be killed for reasons of family honor. The photo itself would probably be censored in conservative Saudi because her hair is showing, but Hillary is not showing too much skin in the photo, so from Hillary’s standpoint it’s a culturally acceptable photo. I did meet women who didn’t cover their hair, Moslem and Christian, but not in the rural areas.

The way the guys are acting would probably just confirm their stereotypical ideas of the depravity of American culture. If an Arab guy acted like that it would show a lack of religiousity and pious somberness. In fact, the photo will probably not make it over there. The Arab countries have press censorship (official, not de facto like we’ve got here) and they will not be eager to offend the incoming administration.

Whether the photo will make the rounds of private government officials is another question. The Arabs do understand we have different standards about women, even if they’re not sure what they are. They do have a few women in leadership positions but as their government is based on tribal affiliation, they are holders of seats that are specifically female, not women who have risen with in their communities. So it is very, very possible that the Arabs in decision-making positions will take their lead about Hillary’s real authority in representing the U.S. government from a photo like this. In other words, they will think she is window dressing only.

Yes, it undermines her ability to do her job, in so far as anyone thinks Hillary represents the Obama team and not her own constituency. Who knows, as the wife of a former President, and yes I did see Hillary there with my own eyes–she may be viewed as having her own power base. I think it is a convoluted issue, BO’s continued apparent agreement with Favreau over the respect he is willing to show Hillary may just play into her perceived independent influence, i.e. he doesn’t really want her but she’s too powerful for him to get rid of.

Of course I have to say here Obama is my senator and was my rep before that, and I would like to think he has the presence of mind to put Hillary in that position for the considerable skills she has to offer his team. But in the Middle East gestures mean so much, since words have to be censored, so the meaning could well be interpreted as Hillary not having the authority to speak for the Obama administration in foreign policy matters.

Is this something bad for the man in the picture?  Is this something bad for Hillary Clinton?

Who are you, what do you think, and why?

Denial of service attacks on blogs isn’t just for terrorists anymore

A few months ago someone named GeekLove08 left a message on this blog asking me to post a link to their new video. I don’t consider this to be a political blog as such, but when I saw the video, I had to write a post about it.  The video is of Hillary Clinton clad in a demure pastel pink outfit that I wouldn’t be caught dead in, giving a speech to a women’s rights convention in China, with a Dvorak string instrumental in the background. As the violins soothe and Hillary’s voice intones words of healing

“…there is far more that unites us than divides us…we share a common future and we are here to find common ground…”

a montage of gender-based hate speech images from the current presidential campaign marches across the screen in stark ugliness. If you haven’t seen it yet you might go over and favorite it.

Today I found out that Geeklove’s Come a Long Way blog on blogspot.com, along with several pro-Hillary blogs listed on Just Say no Deal, had been forced out of the blogosphere in a rather ugly episode so typical of this campaign cycle. The blog has since been moved to WordPress.

While Hillary had already suspended her campaign at the time of the attack, the blogs in question had buttons with links to help Hillary pay down her campaign debt.  Now who would want to prevent Hillary’s campaign debt from being paid?

I may have had a close call myself. A few days before the attacks on the other blogs, a pro-Obama website linked to this website and tried make some kind of claim they knew who I was and what my political views were, in spite of having an Obama button and not a link to pay down Hillary’s debt in my sidebar.  كَلْب  (No, that’s not endorsement; I have Hillary buttons too.)  Why they consider me to be so noteworthy I do not know. Perhaps the paid Obama bloggers were being offered a bounty of some sort and they were trying to squeeze me into their criteria.

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Related posts:

Al-Firdaws:Cyberspace terrorists or Script Kiddies?

Why attack CafePress.com?

Posted in Conspiracies, Gender, Hillary, Obama. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Denial of service attacks on blogs isn’t just for terrorists anymore

Obama underwear, eewww, how about a puma pawprint instead?

The latest way for soap opera stars to show their support for Obama is to model Obama underwear.  I kid you not.  Does anyone really vote on the basis of what their favorite soap opera star wears? Or does anyone else think this is just gross?

Here’s something better that should make cat lovers and P.U.M.A. political junkies alike smile.  A big cat paw.  There’s Puma Paw boxer shorts, Puma Paw thong underwear, a spaghetti strap Puma Paw camisole and a Puma Paw trucker’s hat.


Purrfect.

Posted in Election 2008, Hillary, Merchandise. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Obama underwear, eewww, how about a puma pawprint instead?

Hate speech and Roger Stone: Hillary has never been called a ….

Is it true–as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright asserted in the now infamous sermon in which he thundered the “n-word” from the pulpit–that Hillary Clinton has never been the target of hate speech? Forget for a moment that when Wright talks about the other candidate, who just happens to be a member of that church, he doesn’t use the familiar first name, but respectfully uses the senator’s first and last name, Barack Obama. But when it comes to Senator Clinton the name thundered from the pulpit is “Hillary”.

Hillary ain’t never been called a n***** , Hillary has never had her people designed as non-persons.

If you really think Hillary has never been subjected to hate speech–assuming you don’t classify the above as hate speech–or had “her people” “designed” as non-persons, you might google Roger Stone’s Citizens United Not Timid (yup, that’s the acronym) a “527” organization dedicated to educating “the American Public about what Hillary Clinton really is.”

Posted in Election 2008, Hillary. Tags: , , , , , , . Comments Off on Hate speech and Roger Stone: Hillary has never been called a ….

Does Hillary have a Fat Butt?

Over heard: two guys talking at the side of the stage at an Indiana Hillary rally:

What do you suppose they were talking about…the loss of steel mill jobs in this state? Fighting their insurance companies to get health care coverage? The economy, stupid? Nope.

“She doesn’t have a fat butt. All those pictures always show her butt being really big. She hasn’t got a fat butt.”

What pictures? Who is passing around fat-butt pictures of Hillary?

hillaryback72.jpg

Posted in Election 2008, Hillary. Tags: , , , , , . Comments Off on Does Hillary have a Fat Butt?

Some Campaign Gear for Election 2008

Finally I’ve added some links for t-shirts, bumper stickers, magnets and campaign buttons for candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to the sidebar.

Can you get thong underwear?  Yes, you can.

Barack Obama:

Buttons, Magnets, and Bumper Stickers

T-Shirts

Hillary Clinton:

Buttons, Magnets, and Bumper Stickers

T-Shirts

barack-obama-bumper-sticker.jpgobama-08-blue-organic-t-shirt.jpgobama-blue-whoosh-oval-bumper-sticker.jpgobama-08-blue-thong.jpg

Posted in Election 2008, Hillary, Obama. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Some Campaign Gear for Election 2008