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Three more items you may be interested in

     School shooter studied Hamas, says friend: On Feb. 22, 2008, WorldNetDaily reported that a former Northern Illinois University newspaper reporter says the killer who gunned down five innocent students in an apparently unprovoked attack liked to study Arabic and the terror group Hamas. "’Assalamo alikum,’ he [Steve Kazmierczak] would say to me, which means ‘peace be with you’ in Arabic," wrote Rasmieyh Abdelnabi in an essay published in the Chicago Sun-Times. "He would proceed to ask me how I was doing and what I was up to, all in Arabic with a thick accent and a huge, excited smile," she continued. She said the two met in class at the university, took several classes together over the years, and periodically kept in touch when they didn’t share classes. "Our topics of choice: foreign policy and the Middle East. He would especially enjoy practicing his Arabic on me. In 2004, NIU decided to offer a year’s worth of Arabic classes. Steve took both classes without hesitation, excited as could be," she wrote. "Once we took a course called ‘The Politics of the Middle East.’ At the beginning of the course, our instructor informed us a research paper would be due by the end of the semester. Steve decided on Hamas, which is known mainly to the world as being a Palestinian terrorist group, which was the first thing that interested Steve about the group. But he also heard Hamas funded many social services, which also interested him. How could one group be put into two completely different categories, Steve would ask," she wrote. "Unlike most of us, Steve started his research from day one, reading every book he could find on Hamas. He’d give me a status report when we saw each other in class. Steve said that his perception of Hamas changed with all the research he did," she said. Hundreds of witnesses are being interviewed, but university officials have said it’s unclear of Kazmierczak’s reasons. On a blog called Muslim Watcher, writer Bruce Keegan noted Abdelnabi was the women’s representative in the Muslim Student Association at NIU.

     Hollywood salutes its WMDs: [Pat Boone, a descendant of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone, has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of his own hit TV series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner, and a best-selling author in a career that has spanned half a century. During the classic rock & roll era of the 1950s, he sold more records than any artist except Elvis Presley. I have not always agreed with everything that Boone has done, but I appreciate his stand for decency. On Feb. 22, 2008, he wrote a commentary for World Net Daily, from which these remarks are taken.] Well, I’ve sent in my Oscar ballot. I’m a singer, an actor, a "member of the Academy," an entertainer. Believe it or not, for a while in the early part of my career, I was one of the top-10 box office stars, along with my pal Elvis. I’ve loved being in this unpredictable, exciting, universally influential phenomenon called entertainment. But this year, as in the last several years, I’ve voted with great misgivings. When Elvis and I came into the business, we and the producers and the studio execs were all aiming at the vast "family audience," the moms and dads who gathered their kids on a Friday or Saturday night and headed to the local movie theater. Of course, we hoped to appeal to the teens, but we were aware that real success depended on our entertaining the whole age range – and certainly not offending parents by "going over the line," sexually or morally in any way. No nudity, no profanity, no brutality and absolutely no explicit, graphic sex scenes. We had hit movies, one after another. Big bucks, huge audiences, worldwide acclaim. And the movie business itself was prospering like never before, with weekend family attendance a predictable ritual. I had "April Love" and "State Fair" and "Journey To The Center of The Earth," while Elvis had "Love Me Tender," "King Creole," "Blue Hawaii" and many more. There was no "X" rating, or even "PG"; movies were for the whole family, and families all over the world ate ’em up and envied the glorious country they reflected. All that has changed, drastically. Today the movie studios belch forth silly, raunchy, titillating teen schlock, "chick flicks" (soapy, sexy women’s stories), and over-violent car chase or bloodletting fantasies. Or they give us all-out soft porn – morbid, taboo-busting and hopelessly dark productions clearly intended to appeal to every base instinct known to man. The current "horror films" manage to combine all these elements into a mindless sensory blitz of blood, sex, violence and fear, a modern American staple. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call many of Hollywood’s latest films – including the nominated ones this year – WMDs. Why? Well, what’s the definition of a WMD? The term still doesn’t appear in most dictionaries, but the name itself tells you: It’s a weapon, by its nature destructive, and it’s aimed at masses of people. Right? So look at what most of this year’s Oscar nominees, for sad example, are accomplishing. All are beautifully produced and powerfully acted; they are fashioned and marketed by giant studio machines; and, because of their negative messages and content, they are like guided missiles. And the combination of major stars, provocative advertising and millions spent on marketing around the world effectively targets the masses. It’s the payload, the content, that makes them so destructive. I’m still a member of the Academy, so I get DVDs of almost all the films that are clamoring for nomination, in order to vote knowledgeably. I’m no prude, for Pete’s sake, but this year I could only find five to vote for in any category, and some I quit watching after 10 minutes! … These are just some of the "cream" films, the ones the industry likes most, but there are scores of others that racked up big grosses and millions of viewers worldwide – films that absolutely undermine the honor and integrity of our leaders, our military, our business leaders, and even Christian ministers and churchgoers. Why do I refer to all these classy-looking but decadent films as WMDs? Because, while they rack up tremendous profits and self-acclaim, they cause as much permanent damage to America’s reputation and standing around the world as would neutron bombs! They contribute to the immorality and degradation of Judeo-Christian principles among young people everywhere, much like poison gas released in cities, subways, high schools and places of worship. Instead of extolling America, our long-established way of life, our freedoms and ingenuity and commitments to valor, our neighborliness and our pursuits of legitimate happiness – as Hollywood used to do in history’s most successful films – the industry seems intent on fulfilling the fondest hopes and expressed aims of the Communists in the 1950s… As an actor, as an American, I’m dismayed. As we watch the Oscars, I’ll be remembering the Psalmist’s observance: "The wicked freely strut about When what is vile is honored among men."

     More on Hollywood–Parents Group Calls for ‘Dexter’ Boycott: The Parents Television Council has called for advertisers to boycott Dexter, the Showtime series now also airing on parent network CBS, because of its violent nature. The show stars Michael C. Hall as a forensics expert who doubles as a serial killer. The PTC has asked CBS affiliates to pre-empt the show, which started airing an edited version of the popular pay channel series on Feb. 17. ”Despite countless public calls for restraint and corporate responsibility, CBS broke its own promise to the public that it would employ careful editing and accurate ratings guidelines for Dexter,” said PTC president Tim Winter. ”Depictions of violence were barely altered from the Showtime network original format.” Among the companies who ran ads in the first episode on CBS were Capital One, Macy’s, Pfizer, Burger King, and assorted movie studios. CBS had no response to the PTC’s most recent complaints about the show but has in the past assured that it would edit the show to comply with broadcast standards and give it an appropriate V-chip rating. (from the Hollywood Reporter).

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