Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ussc ruling Gay marriage okayed

Andrew Sullivan Breaks Silence After Gay Marriage Ruling

I think of the gay kids in the future who, when they figure out they are different, will never know the deep psychic wound my generation – and every one before mine – lived through: the pain of knowing they could never be fully part of their own family, never be fullya citizen of their own country. I think, more acutely, of the decades and centuries of human shame and darkness and waste and terror that defined gay people's lives for so long. And I think of all those who supported this movement who never lived to see this day, who died in the ashes from which this phoenix of a movement emerged. This momentous achievement is their victory too – for marriage, as Kennedy argued, endures past death.

I never believed this would happen in my lifetime when I wrote my first several TNR essays and then my book, Virtually Normal, and then the anthologyand the hundreds and hundreds of talks and lectures and talk-shows and call-ins and blog-posts and articles in the 1990s and 2000s. I thought the book, at least, would be something I would have to leave behind me – secure in the knowledge that its arguments were, in fact, logically irrefutable, and would endure past my own death, at least somewhere. I never for a millisecond thought I would live to be married myself. Or that it would be possible for everyone, everyone in America.

But it has come to pass. All of it. In one fell, final swoop.

Know hope.

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Friday, June 26, 2015



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Mausam hai aashiqana (Instrumental) - YouTube

Mausam hai aashiqana (Instrumental) - YouTube: "Mausam hai aashiqana (Instrumental)"

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Saudi Arabia condemns foreign criticism of blogger's lashings - The Express Tribune

Saudi Arabia condemns foreign criticism of blogger's lashings - The Express Tribune: "Prize by Norwegian member of parliament Karin Andersen.

His supporters have launched a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #backlash that has gathered momentum, and posted pictures of people with lashes drawn on their backs with red lipstick.

Saudi Arabia in March dismissed criticism of its flogging of Badawi and “strongly denounced the media campaign around the case”.

In his first letter from prison published by the German weekly Der Spiegel that month, Badawi wrote how he “miraculously survived 50 lashes”.

Badawi, 31, recalled that he was “surrounded by a cheering crowd who cried incessantly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)” during the whipping.

“All this cruel suffering happened to me because I expressed my opinion,” Badawi wrote.


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Pakistan sends letter seeking help from UK govt on BBC's MQM report - The Express Tribune

Pakistan sends letter seeking help from UK govt on BBC's MQM report - The Express Tribune: "We are going to take it to the United Nations, he said. After consultation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, this issue would be taken up by Pakistan permanent representative Dr Maleeha Lodhi at the upcoming meeting of the UN Security Council, he added.

Analyst Tasneem Noorani observed that the official request to UK government regarding the BBC report for authentic information is over-optimistic, because, he said “the UK is unlikely to take position on a controversy between India and Pakistan.” The most crucial thing is the outcome of the Imran Farooq murder case, he added.

MQM writes to BBC

On the other hand, MQM’s legal team has prepared a strong rebuttal in response to BBC’s report and is all set to dispatch a letter to its
headquarter by today or tomorrow, a party leader told The Express

The letter seeks an unconditional apology, asking the BBC administration to pay damages. However, if it fails to do so, it must air the apology publicly, she added.

Read: Altaf refutes BBC’s ‘Raw agent’ allegations against MQM

According to the MQM official, BBC’s report has damaged the party’s image who is known to promote peace in Pakistan as compared to other political parties in the country, she reiterated."

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Haq's Musings: Leaked London Police Transcripts of MQM Leaders' Interrogation on Indian RAW Funds

Haq's Musings: Leaked London Police Transcripts of MQM Leaders' Interrogation on Indian RAW Funds:


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Isis, a year of the caliphate: Have US tactics only helped to make Islamists more powerful? - Middle East - World - The Independent

Isis, a year of the caliphate: Have US tactics only helped to make Islamists more powerful? - Middle East - World - The Independent: "Once again, this led to over-optimistic talk of Isis weakening, though it did not try very hard to hold either town as they were encircled by Kurdish troops. As in Iraq, Kurdish willingness and ability to advance into Sunni Arab majority areas is limited so the Kurds will not inflict a decisive defeat on Islamic State. Yesterday there were reports of Isis advancing in other areas.

Isis has more long-term opportunities in Syria than Iraq because some 60 per cent of Syrians are Sunni Arabs, compared to only 20 per cent in Iraq. It has yet to dominate the Sunni opposition in Syria to the extent it does in Iraq, but this may come. As sectarian warfare escalates, Isis’s combination of fanatical Sunni ideology and military expertise will be difficult to overcome."

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The importance of listening to the Holy Quran | Quran Explorer Blog

The importance of listening to the Holy Quran | Quran Explorer Blog: "When you listen to the Quran, your horizon about life broadens! Haven’t you ever felt while listening to Surah Rahman, for example, the power of Allah’s blessings?
“Which then, of the favours of your Lord will you deny?”
None, indeed. Listening to the Quran makes you reflect, makes you feel like you have a friend, that you’re never lonely because the words of Allah, as true as the heavens and the earth, are with you! You realize that this world is temporary, it makes you detach from worldly and materialistic things and strive for a better tomorrow, a better Hereafter!
“When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and remain silent, that you may receive mercy.” [7:204]
And finally, as the verse above explains, listening to the recitation of the Quran gives you the mercy of Allah. What better antidote than this to enter heaven InshAllah!"

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Quran - Recite explorer

Quran - Recite:

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Read, listen and or download holy quran links   download pdf chapters +   listen & download quran

Iqbal  Quidwai   

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

KARACHI: While prolonged power cuts and the harsh heatwave persisted across Sindh, another 337 people

KARACHI: While prolonged power cuts and the harsh heatwave persisted across Sindh, another 337 people — 311 in Karachi alone — died in public and private sector hospitals of the province on Tuesday, taking the combined death toll to 782 in a mere three days. 

At least 136 deaths were reported on Sunday and 309 on Monday. 

A government official told Dawn that the heatstroke had so far claimed the lives of at least 744 people in Karachi and 38 in other parts of Sindh. 

On Tuesday, 311 people died in Karachi, eight in Hyderabad, two in Matiari, three in Tando Allahyar, seven in Badin and six in Thatta and Sujawal districts. 

"We are continuously receiving people in a critical condition or dead; there has been no let-up," said Dr Seemin Jamali, joint executive director of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where most of the deaths have been reported since harsh weather conditions struck Karachi. 

"We have recorded 279 deaths so far and there are still a large number of people in our wards," she said. 

Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo claimed that although heatstroke patients were still being admitted to hospitals in Karachi, their number was coming down gradually. 

"Awareness is rising about the danger of sunstroke and people are taking precautionary measures," he added. 

Scenes of speeding ambulances with sirens wailing were witnessed all day at the city's major hospitals and outside the Edhi morgue, where officials said their facility had been stretched to the limit because of the persisting emergency situation. 

According to officials, there are 11,550 beds in public sector hospitals of Karachi, most of which were already occupied by patients with various diseases and were insufficient for the heatstroke patients coming in hordes. 

WEATHER: While very hot and humid weather persisted throughout the day in Karachi, a change of wind pattern brought some respite in the evening when a relatively cool sea breeze started blowing. 

The Met Office said a depression in the Arabian Sea had stopped sea breeze in Karachi for the past few days. It hit the coast of Gujarat on Tuesday morning, causing widespread rains in the region. 

"Now Karachi is getting south-westerly winds (sea breeze), instead of hot continental winds, and the same will bring down the temperature in the days to come," it said. 

The maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in Karachi on Tuesday stood at 41 degrees Celsius and 33. Humidity — a measure of the amount of moisture in the air — was 45 per cent. 

The city endured a maximum temperature of 43 degrees Celsius on Monday. 

With chances of rain/thundershowers and duststorm in Karachi, the weather on Wednesday will be hot and humid. 

Moenjodaro and Sukkur were the hottest places in the province on Tuesday as the mercury shot to 45 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in Jacobabad was 44 degrees Celsius; in Larkana, Chhor and Rohri 43, and in Badin and Hyderabad 41 degrees Celsius. 

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

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Thousand Oaks certifies election results; McCoy sworn in Wendy Leung 7:04 PM, Jun 23, 2015 53

Thousand Oaks certifies election results; McCoy sworn in

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Inside the crowded council chambers, Rob McCoy was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of the Thousand Oaks City Council.

The council declared the results of the June 2 special election, which had a voter turnout of 26 percent. Ventura County Clerk-Recorder Mark Lunn declared the results three days after the election, with McCoy winning by 52 votes.

"I was thinking of the idea I won by 52 votes and that constitutes a full deck of cards," McCoy said. "So I'm playing with a full deck."

Tuesday's council meeting started off with the swearing-in ceremony before an audience of McCoy's family and supporters.

Councilman Andy Fox praised voters for the commendable turnout and welcomed the newest councilman.

"I'm personally excited to have someone on the council who cares about the community, who cares about the people," Fox said.

Chaise Rasheed, one of McCoy's opponents in the special election, told the audience members they were gaining an "earnest councilman" in McCoy, who was always gracious to him during the campaign.

"I'm a Democrat; he's a Republican. In this polarized society of politics, I find that to be amazing," Rasheed said.

McCoy will serve the remainder of former Councilwoman Jacqui Irwin's term, which ends in 18 months. She stepped down from the council after winning election to the state Assembly.

McCoy said he's looking forward to working with his new colleagues and with the city staff.

"As I suspected all along, I knew you were delightful people," McCoy said. "This is a wonderful group of folks."

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@Leung__Wendy: .@NickQuidwai calls McCoy "wonderful, great man." I'm hoping the politics of putting people down, the meanness and pettiness will be over.

@Leung__Wendy: .@NickQuidwai calls McCoy "wonderful, great man."
I'm hoping the politics of putting people down, the meanness and pettiness will be over.
Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

Liquor weapons @ church pastor ventura Ventura VC star

Letter: Weapons at church

I am the pastor of a local Baptist Church. More than 12 years ago, we instituted a policy of having armed personnel in every service held throughout the week.

The personnel are all members of our church. On each entrance to the church building we have posted a notice declaring the presence of these armed members. They are armed for the security of the attendees.

I have personally trained, or had trained, any of our men and women in the use of handguns. The ushers have been trained by policemen who attend our church in subduing and controlling unruly or dangerous visitors.

Out of wisdom, Martin Luther King carried a pistol for self-defense. I suggest that all Christian pastors examine my policy and adopt one like it for the security of their people.

An important sidebar to this testimony is the unfortunate truth that in many parts of liberal America it is very difficult to get governmental permission to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Here in Ventura, it is almost impossible unless you are connected with the police departments or the Superior Court system.

Until I retired in 2011, I had a federal firearms dealer license, a California state firearms dealer license and a Ventura city firearms dealer license. I have owned two gun stores in Ventura. I am an NRA rifle instructor, the pastor of a local church for 20 years, and I have a clean record. I applied for and could not get a permit from the Sheriff's Office.

Finally, as I learned recently, to protect my family, my church and myself, I am compelled to break the law when I choose to carry a handgun on my person or in my car. This is unfair to everyone except the criminals who do not obey any laws.

E. Kent Williams,

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thousand Oak city Council empty seat to be filled Tuesday by Pastor Rob McCoy the Seastar

Empty for months, Thousand Oaks council seat to be filled by pastor

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - On the Thousand Oaks City Council sit a firefighter, financial adviser, retired police officer and former broadcast journalist.

On Tuesday, they will be joined by a pastor when Rob McCoy, 50, is sworn in following a narrow special-election victory June 2.

Council watchers are waiting anxiously to see where the popular Newbury Park preacher will align on issues like infill development, open space and street paving.

During the campaign, McCoy's open-minded approach was a contrast to his opponents' strong stands on issues like Thousand Oaks Boulevard development or the evolving tree ordinance.

"I'm looking forward to Rob joining the council," said Mayor Al Adam. "It'll change the dynamic a bit. It changed when I came on."

But exactly how the council chemistry will change remains to be seen. McCoy took a nontraditional route to City Hall, having never served on the Planning Commission. His four colleagues all graduated from the commission, which makes decisions on land-use matters that sometimes get further scrutiny from the council.

"How he's going to operate as a council member, I don't know," Adam said. "I'm not familiar with where he stands on different things. We'll see, won't we?"

Most people who have heard McCoy speak did so at church or on the campaign trail as he ran in November against former councilwoman Jacqui Irwin for the state Assembly. Irwin won, creating the council vacancy that McCoy will now fill.

As a councilman, McCoy will continue his pastoral duties at Calvary Chapel.

"I go to church every Sunday," he said. "I might as well preach."

Some voters who did not support McCoy think his pastoral role is incompatible with government leadership.

"In my opinion, if he interjects too much religion into council deliberations, he will probably not win re-election," said Alyce Klussman, a member of the city's Council on Aging and a supporter of council candidate Dan Roundtree.

McCoy will serve the remainder of Irwin's term, until November 2016. He has already indicated he will run for re-election.

"I think McCoy is an honorable man," Klussman said. "He said he would be supportive of senior issues and we'll hold him to that."

Voters have already been holding him to his campaign promise of being responsive to residents' needs. A day after the special election results were certified, McCoy received a call from a resident concerned about insecticide use at a park.

"I promised the city I'd be accessible and I'm realizing not only am I living up to it but I feel like they're taking me up on my offer," McCoy said. "It's exciting understanding the lay of the land. I'm not biased. I'm just learning."

If there were one aspect of McCoy's campaign that pushed him past his toughest competition, candidate Ed Jones, it was phone banking. And if there were one phone banker who could be credited for helping McCoy seal a last-minute win, it would be Tom Hunt, a Newbury Park resident who has called McCoy his pastor for the past 15 years.

On Election Day, Hunt made 625 phone calls and talked to about 250 people. Hunt said the majority of the voters he talked to forgot it was Election Day.

Those calls were important because McCoy took the lead from Jones only after late mail-in ballots were counted. He edged ahead of Jones by just 52 votes.

Hunt, a self-described Reagan Republican, said a pastor like McCoy is more in touch with the average citizen than some council members.

"I think there's lots of apprehension because he's a pastor. I personally think he'll blend in fine," Hunt said. "He's not there to convert the council. ... I believe Rob is going to represent the people a lot better than skeptics think he will."

McCoy wonders if nonreligious officials are ever asked what kind of role their lack of faith will play on the council dais. He said his Christian faith will play a role, but he won't push for council meetings to begin with prayer.

"The idea of a theocracy, that's never been a desire of mine," McCoy said. "I don't have an agenda to create a theocracy."

Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

US shooter’s ‘manifesto’ explains motive for church murders

US shooter's 'manifesto' explains motive for church murders

Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Power cuts belie official claims

Power cuts belie official claims

Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Friday, June 19, 2015

The State of Hate in America | Brian Levin, J.D.

The State of Hate in America | Brian Levin, J.D.: "What role does mental distress play in symbolic or mass violence attacks?

Over the last several decades there has been a chain of mentally disturbed violent figures of diverse backgrounds that targeted victims who doubled as institutional symbols. These include anti-Muslim Norway killer Andres Brevick, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Neo-Nazi Jewish school shooter Bufford Furrow, Little Rock Army recruitment center shooter Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, George Wallace shooter Arthur Bremmer, Capitol Hill killer Eugene Weston, Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza, Jewish Federation killer Naveed Haq, Tuscon killer Jared Loughner, and Reagan shooter John Hinckley. The psychologically dangerous "extremist" is one of three main categories of extremists. Research suggests that "the incidence of mental illness among lone wolves may be higher than among people involved in group forms of terrorism" according to Mark Pitcavage.

What is lone wolf terrorism?


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This Guy Fell In Love With His Girlfriend In 5th Grade. This Is How He Proposed

I was reading this article on Huffington Post, and I thought you might be interested in reading it, too.

This Guy Fell In Love With His Girlfriend In 5th Grade. This Is How He Proposed


Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

VC star later 1000 oaks not thousand stumps

Letter: Thousand Oaks not Thousand Stumps

I am insulted! Insulted, I tell you! It recently has been brought to my attention that we who live here in Thousand Oaks should start getting used to living in "Thousand Stumps"! How

Oh, that is such a low blow. I have been hearing about just how awful those inter-webers and
twitter-istas are getting. How mean and nasty can they be, anyway?

Don't they realize that colleges have canceled all the architectural programs that used to teach "How to Design Buildings Around Trees"? (That was in 2010, I believe.)

Don't they realize that today's developer schools only teach "How to Build Huge Rectangular Buildings"? OK, sometime "Huge Square Buildings"? (2011, I think.) This not hard to grasp.  When things you think should be taught are simply no longer taught, that is not our fault. That is not the fault of our fabulous architects or our fabulous developers, either.

So, you snarky Facebookers and YouTubers, just stop it with the "Thousand Stumps" business and have some sympathy for our poor developers and architects, and have some empathy for us citizens, too, as we are coping as well as we can.

Joan Edwards,
Westlake Village

Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Secret Affairs, By Mark Curtis - Reviews - Books - The Independent

Secret Affairs, By Mark Curtis - Reviews - Books - The Independent: "The part played by officials in the growth of terrorism in Britain is a relatively small-scale affair compared to what went on abroad. Successive UK governments had nurtured and promoted extremists for reasons of realpolitik often at a terrible cost to the population of those countries. Mark Curtis, in his book on "Britain's collusion with radical Islam", charts this liaison. He points out how reactionary and violent Muslim groups were used against secular nationalists at the time of empire and continued afterwards to back UK and Western interests."

'via Blog this'

Secret Affairs, By Mark Curtis - Reviews - Books - The Independent

Secret Affairs, By Mark Curtis - Reviews - Books - The Independent: "The part played by officials in the growth of terrorism in Britain is a relatively small-scale affair compared to what went on abroad. Successive UK governments had nurtured and promoted extremists for reasons of realpolitik often at a terrible cost to the population of those countries. Mark Curtis, in his book on "Britain's collusion with radical Islam", charts this liaison. He points out how reactionary and violent Muslim groups were used against secular nationalists at the time of empire and continued afterwards to back UK and Western interests."

'via Blog this'

Fwd: Greetings from our President

Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Begin forwarded message:

Date: June 17, 2015 at 11:28:51 PM PDT

Subject: Greetings from our President



Ramadan Greetings from President Obama:



Ramzan Mubarak!






Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TO Acorn letters June 18th 2015 +++ Is BID bidding to change Measure E?

TO Acorn letters June 18th 2015 +++

Is BID bidding to change Measure E?

Minutes say yes, members say no

By Anna Bitong

Minutes from the monthly meetings of the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Business Improvement District, approved by the City Council June 9, underscore the taxpayer-funded organization's efforts in the past year to get more housing units allocated to the boulevard despite Measure E-imposed housing limits and the limits set forth in the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan.

Between May 2014 and March 2015, the BID—a collection of boulevard property owners, the City of Thousand Oaksincluded, who have agreed to tax themselves to pay for improving an area between Moorpark Road and Duesenberg Drive—met on 10 occasions, with Measure E on the agenda every time.

The minutes of those open meetings, held in the Acorn Room at City Hall, were included in the council's consent calendar last week along with approval of an annual levy the city pays to be a part of the BID. This year's cost to taxpayers is $14,227.


Inside the minutes

In minutes from the May 6, 2014, meeting, the secretary reports BID chair Rick Principe, CEO of Westcord Commercial Real Estate, has "met with all the City Council members at the Visionary Meetings. Most want Measure E terminated in the Specific Plan."

By doing so, the plan area could add residential units without affecting the citywide housing cap, which stands at around 600 units, including 200 on the boulevard.

"(Councilmembers) Joel Price and Jacqui Irwin want it eliminated," the minutes read. "The BID needs outreach programs in the community to get Measure E eliminated from the (plan)."

At the same meeting, BID members discussed Rick Caruso's interest in building 150 units behind The Lakes shopping center, which is not within the Boulevard Specific Plan but has its own specific plan with the Civic Arts Plaza.

"(Caruso) wants to use the 'banked' units and the (Area) Housing Authority wants the banked units too," the minutes say.

At the next BID meeting, on June 3, 2014, the minutes note Principe was "still working with the City Council and staff in attempting to get their support (and the public's) to remove Measure E from the (Specific Plan Area)."

As the BID was preparing to go before the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission with a request for the city to add 206 units to the boulevard, a City Council member (not named) told members on July 1, 2014, "not to pursue the removal of Measure E" until the next year, presumably after the fall election.

Two months later, the Sept. 3, 2014, minutes state that "removing Measure E from the Specific Plan is gaining some traction." Principe, according to the minutes, met with Councilmember Andy Fox and City Manager Scott Mitnick, who "will be interviewing property owners and citizens for feedback."

At the Nov. 4 Election Day meeting, the minutes say the BID will "ramp up its efforts through marketing and campaigning to have (Measure E) removed" after the City Council election.

In December, the minutes note: "If Measure E can be 'reinterpreted,' it was suggested that the (Boulevard Specific Plan) is allowed a percentage of those units, or to request 1,200 to 1,500 units. The City Council will have to agree to change the current policy, and it was suggested that the BID conduct a PR program to get the community to agree."

BID responds

Despite talk in the minutes about removing the housing cap on the boulevard, Principe told the Acorn this week, "There's been no movement by the (BID) to change Measure E."

"We never actually formally requested we change Measure E," he said. "Once (the city) said they had extra (units) in the land bank, we said we don't even have to try to change Measure E. We could just take what's in the land bank and that will probably suffice.

"Our objective isn't to change Measure E. Our objective is to get more units on the boulevard."

Tim Gallagher, a public relations consultant who works for the BID, said the group has been exploring ways to get more units allocated to the boulevard, not lobbying for a policy change.

Asked whether the BID's effort to circumvent Measure E fits within its mission, Gallagher took issue with the word "circumvent."

"There was never any discussion of circumventing (Measure E) or trying to twist the law," he said. "What they were doing was exploring the possibilities that were out there at that point."

Those possibilities included taking Measure E to a public vote, an option discussed last year by Fox, who voted to approve Measure E in the 1990s, Gallagher said, and another interpretation of Measure E "that would put more units in the bank," suggested by former City Attorney and Measure E author Mark Sellers.

Gallagher said Sellers, who now represents private interests, had advised the BID that it "cannot take a political or lobby position because it's a taxpayer-supported organization."

"The intent of the BID directors was to go to the city and say, 'How do we get more units allocated to the boulevard?' Not to lobby on Measure E," Gallagher said.


Council member not a threat

I agree with Mr. Smight that spending $200,000 for an election to fill a vacant seat for only 18 months is crazy.

And for only 26 percent of the registered voters to participate is crazy. And for the winning candidate to only receive 35.3 percent of that 26 percent is crazy.

But look on the bright side. If Councilmember McCoy lowers the tax rates in our city, you can always send a check to the city to spend it any way they want.


If Councilmember McCoy requires the city to recognize the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, you still do not have to buy a gun.

If Councilmember McCoy keeps the minimum wage where it is at, instead of increasing it to $15 per hour, you can still pay your employees the higher rate, or even more.

If Councilmember McCoy enacts voluntary prayer in school, your children will still be able to refrain.

Remember, it's only 18 months of these extreme right-wing tea party evangelical conditions, unless, God forbid (oops), Councilmember McCoy is reelected in 2016. Then you might just have a real problem.

Mike Abraham
Thousand Oaks



Election critic disingenuous

Mr. Smight (Letters, Acorn, June 11) is completely disingenuous when he makes his case calling the special election and its results "crazy."

He appears upset that the city spent $200,000 for the election. He is upset that only 26 percent of registered voters cast ballots. He doesn't like the "plurality wins" structure.

What he is really upset with is none of that, but rather the fact that Rob McCoy won the election. I doubt very seriously he would have written a letter had "his guy" won.


Mr. Smight, the Thousand Oaks community exercised its democratic right to elect a replacement for the City Council instead of having an appointment made. Maybe you would have preferred that nondemocratic approach. It sure seems in vogue in Washington these days.

California may be blue, but all politics is local. Thousand Oakshappens to be a lot more red than Austin or Lawrence.

Kendric Foultz
Thousand Oaks



The right to vote is a duty

"Crazy" elections? Huh?

Reader Tim Smight refers to the "plurality wins election structure" (June 11) as being "crazy." There is nothing crazy about the majority wins election structure; It's fundamental parliamentary procedure and process.

I suggest that Mr. Smight get on the phone next time and make calls to increase the number of voters casting ballots. Actually, 26 percent of registered voters casting ballots is not that bad, comparatively.


As a voting site manager for many years, I've seen much lower participation, not only in special elections, but also in regular offyear elections.

It is the voter participation that's crazy, not the majority wins election structure, Mr. Smight, and it's up to you and me, all of us, to change that.

The right and privilege to vote is a duty to vote. Folks take it too lightly but are quick to complain.

Dietmar Wagenknecht
Thousand Oaks


Writer's shock is shocking

Tim Smight ("Election results just crazy," Letters, Acorn, June 11) seems to have awoken from a deep sleep long enough to register surprise that a "right-wing tea-party evangelical" has been elected to the Thousand Oaks council in progressive California.

For starters, Pastor Robert McCoy is replacing a very moderate Democrat (Jacqui Irwin), not your typical San Francisco limousine liberal. While Pastor McCoy had supporters in the tea party (who largely promote a platform of simply staying within your budget—something Thousand Oaks has done quite well for many years), he is also a moderate Republican who will likely be a positive addition to the City Council.

Of the four candidates, only three were reasonably viable and those three could all be considered rather moderate. Clearly, and thankfully, none fit the mold of a California progressive.


Accordingly, Tim's shock at the election results is rather shocking in itself. Tim ended his letter with the words "Call me crazy." That's the only part of his letter that makes any sense.

Tom Reilly
Thousand Oaks


BID changes too clever for words

Oh dear. Poor Mr. Principe. He appears to be having total meltdown over the lack of action on his plans for the Business Improvement District. So he wants a whole new specific plan for T.O. Boulevard (Acorn, June 4). How adorable.

To just flat out eliminate the oak tree ordinance from applying to the specific plan? Who needs to breathe anyway? Just eliminate all of those burdensome oak trees along T.O. Boulevard. How dare they stand right in his way.

And what a novel idea. To expedite building and remodeling permits. No one has ever thought of that before. And just think. We could go from low density to high density in no time at all.


And how clever. New and better parking standards to get rid of all that useless excess parking. We could be squeezing in so many more cars, and wouldn't that be cozy? We could be clogging up the traffic flow, too, and just think how all those businesses would appreciate that.

And who needs such a burdensome thing as 30 dwellings per acre when he, Mr. Principe, could build a four-story apartment on 1 acre and put in 80 apartments? Or maybe more: Just let him build a few stories higher. He could do 100 apartments.

Oh, but his best comment was that the 200 housing units in the existing specific plan are not nearly enough to meet the demand from developers.

Oh, boo-hoo. Those poor, poor developers. He just cannot get that bad City Council to act properly.

If only he could get the limits of Measure E lifted. Don't worry, he'll think of a way. He just has to convince them. Then every developer in Thousand Oaks could sleep like a baby.

Joan Edwards
Westlake Village

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++More housing = American dream

One of California's most desirable and highly regarded communities (Thousand Oaks) is providing hope for potential homebuyers of the aging Generation Y.

Let me start by saying I am merely a college student, a veteran of the United States Navy and a concerned potentialThousand Oaks homebuyer. Not being a native of California, I'm fortunate to live here under the support of my fiancée's parents.

Like many of my colleagues, I believe in the American dream. The ability to break class barriers, buy a modest home and start a family is a common dream for my generation.


Unlike many of my colleagues, I have the advantage of a guaranteed VA home loan. Even with this distinct advantage, the notoriously high housing prices leave me dissatisfied.

Fortunately, this wonderful city sought to increase the supply of houses in their community, effectively managing a fraction of the overwhelming inflation in the housing market.

The February 2015 Development Activity report provided by the City of Thousand Oaks' Community Development Department shows numerous residential project applications. Projects already under construction will provide nearly 100 new single-family homes in the coming months.

Recent approved projects will allow an additional 50 homes and over 100 apartment units. As more people are born and the demand for housing continues to increase, the price increase will be less substantial than if Thousand Oaksneglected to increase the supply of homes.

With my fullest sincerity, I am relieved to see our community development department allowing the expansion of residences.

Its actions provide hope for the social mobility of hardworking individuals.

I hope we continue to find room for housing development rights in our own backyard, as I will continue to pursue the American dream.

Cullen T. Rush
Thousand Oaks







Ramazan begins tomorrow Dawn Report June 17th 2015

Ramazan begins tomorrow

KARACHI / PESHAWAR: The Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee announced on Wednesday that since Ramazan moon had not been sighted, the holy month would begin on Friday.
“No witness testimony regarding moon-sighting was received from across the country,” the committee’s chairman, Mufti Munibur Rehman, said at a press conference after a meeting at the Karachi Met Office.
Meetings of the regional committees were held in provincial capitals and representatives of the committee were present in almost every district.
PESHAWAR MOSQUE: However, an unofficial committee announced in Peshawar late in the night that 10 “credible witness declarations” of moon sighting had been received and therefore, the first day of Ramazan would fall on Thursday.
Mufti Shahabuddin Populzai chaired the meeting at the Qasim Ali Khan Mosque.
People in Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Bannu, Bajaur, Mohmand and some parts of Khyber Agency will fast on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2015

Day 18 – Nevada, the Jamia Masjid in Las Vegas | 30 Mosques

Day 18 – Nevada, the Jamia Masjid in Las Vegas | 30 Mosques: "There’s something many people don’t understand about the need for a man to provide for his family on his own, and what lengths he’s willing to go to in order to make that happen. Amanullah tells me he’d rather do this than rely on welfare or other forms of governmental assistance to feed himself. As much as he hates working in casinos, it helped put his daughter through college."

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Ending the moon-sighting controversy through science - Blogs - DAWN.COM

Ending the moon-sighting controversy through science - Blogs - DAWN.COM: "Wrong. It may not be the first date of the lunar month, but it can certainly be the first sighting.

The reason for that is, if the moon's 'age' is less than 17 hours on a given day, it will set without becoming visible to the naked eye. So technically, there was a crescent, it just never got the chance to be seen from Earth. The next day at the same time, it will be 17+24=41 hours of age, and will definitely look fatter and more visible.

Blaming the Royat-e-Hilal Committee for not spotting the young crescent on its first day is foolish – blame nature, rather.

Today, astronomy can accurately establish the time of birth of the new moon with the accuracy of seconds, and its likelihood of being visible. So, what is the harm in using this astronomical basis to reject a claimed sighting which could not possibly be correct?"

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California labor commission rules Uber drivers are employees - Business Insider

California labor commission rules Uber drivers are employees - Business Insider: "By the way, this ruling isn't just a huge deal for Uber and Lyft. There have been a lot of "Uber for X" startups to follow in their wake: $1 billion startup Instacart, for example, has contract workers deliver groceries; $250 million startup Shyp has regular people mail things for customers. If these companies, which are referred to as the 1099 economy, can no longer have independent contract workers, all of their business models are shot.

And if their business models are shot, that's pretty bad news for investors who have been pouring unprecedented amounts of money into private companies over the past few years.

Their investments have allowed startups to stay private longer and avoid going public or getting acquired. That means venture capitalists and startup employees haven't had much chance to gain liquidity.

So while Uber is a $50 billion company on paper and investors currently look like gods who will get crazy returns someday, many actually haven't actually gotten much cash back yet. This concept — pouring lots of money into companies without seeing a cash return — is called a "dry bubble." And as Uber board member Bill Gurly recently tweeted:

"Wet bubbles (1999) are more fun than dry ones (2015)."

Here's a copy of the Uber ruling, from June 16. Driverless cars are probably starting to look pretty good to Uber right about now. 

Uber California ruling"

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf - Expand Your Mind

Al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf - Expand Your Mind:  Dahir, was the raid by pirates off the coast of Debal, resulting in the capturing both gifts to the caliph from the King of Serendib (modern Sri Lanka) as well as the female pilgrims on board who were captured.

The Chach Nama reports that upon hearing of the matter, al-Hajjaj wrote a letter to the Raja, and upon unsuccessful resolution being reached, launched a military attack. Other reasons attributed to al-Hajjaj's interest was in (1) gaining a foothold in the MakranBalochistan andSindh regions, (2) protecting the maritime interests, and (3) to teach the armies from Sindh a lesson, for participating alongside Persians in various battles such as those at Nahawand,Salasal and Qādisiyyah and the granting of refuge to fleeing rebel chieftains.

Hajjaj Bin Yousaf (661-714) remained the ruler of Iraq

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