Monday, June 14, 2010

Oklahoma to Ban Sharia Law

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, was the first state to pass legislation (H.R.1804) to restrict the activities of illegal aliens by making it a felony for U.S. citizens to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to illegal immigrants.

That was in 2007. This year, Oklahoma is prepared to be the first state to ban Sharia law and prohibit state judges from relying upon Islamic law when deciding any sort of case. ABC reports that "the ban is a cornerstone of a "Save our State" amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that was recently approved by the Legislature." The amendment goes before the voters in November when passage is expected.

Republican State Rep. Rex Duncan says the measure is a "preemptive strike" to prevent Islamic law from gaining a foothold in Oklahoma and by extension, the United States. Oklahoma, pop. 3.7 million, has a small Muslim population estimated at 30,000 which may seem to be an over reaction to a non-existent problem. However,
Sharia has gained a toehold in some western countries, notably Great Britain, where five sharia courts have been established to settle certain disputes among Muslims, with the government's blessing.

The proposed Oklahoma amendment is aimed, in part, at "cases of first impression," legal disputes in which there is no law or precedent to resolve the matter at hand.

In such cases, judges might look to laws or rulings in other jurisdictions for guidance. The proposed amendment would block judges in Oklahoma courts from drawing on sharia, or the laws of other nations, in such decisions.

The amendment also is a response to what some conservatives see as a pernicious trend -- cases of liberal judges mostly notably Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, using foreign laws to shape their opinions in U.S. cases.

"It should not matter what France might do, what Great Britain might do, or what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia might do," Duncan said. "Court decisions ought to be based on federal law, or state law."
Duncan, state House Judiciary Committee chair, said, "I see this in the future somewhere in America. It's not an imminent threat in Oklahoma yet, but it's a storm on the horizon in other states."

Fordham University School of Law in New York City professor Jim Cohen says he is not aware of a case involving sharia law. Nevertheless, he doubts the constitutionality of the amendment explaining:

"Our federal system and our state system is in part governed by the concept of separation of powers. It's far from clear that the Oklahoma legislature can restrict what a separate branch of government can consider in terms of doing its job – in this case, deciding cases."
Oddly, Cohen offers a further defense of his assertion,

"I think this is a political statement against Muslims and, inferentially, in support of United States values."
Well, DUH! Of course, it's in support of United States values against the values of 7th century Muslim barbarians and 21st century weak-kneed Progressives. Every country and nation is expected (except America) to defend themselves and their way of life against foreign invaders and just plain stupid ideas, like Islam, sharia, and Progressivism. The first time Prof. Cohen has stones thrown at him or a Muslim mob flogs his daughter for wearing make-up, he might change his mind about Oklahoma's proposed amendment and American values.

Now, about banning Islam...

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

At the top of his prime, Jimmy Dean was a big, big man

Jimmy Dean, a much beloved Country Hall of Fame legend long before he ever was the sausage king, died Sunday after 81 years. His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said Jimmy died of natural causes while eating in front of the TV while she was out of the room for a few moments.

Jimmy Dean rose to fame in 1961 on the strength of a single song, an early rap called "Big Bad John." The final line of the song originally described Big John as "one hell of man," but had to be changed to "a big, big man" in order to meet the strict language standards of the early 1960s.

Suffering from various ailments, Jimmy Dean kept busy and never failed to please an audience with a performance of his hit song. In what may be his last performance, Jimmy Dean sings "Big Bad John" on The Gaither Gospel Hour in January or February 2010.

You Tube
A fan from Crab Orchard, TN had seen Jimmy sitting in a wheelchair on the program and asked Parade Magazine about Jimmy Dean and received this reply:
Just fine, thanks. "I have a lower-back problem that a lot of people get, but no pain whatsoever," the retired actor, singer, and sausage spokesman, 81, tells us. "I'm exactly where I want to be--we live out here on the James River outside Richmond, I have three ponds, and we catch the biggest, most beautiful bass you've ever looked at in your life." Good eating? "Good God, yes. I fry 'em," Dean says. In butter? He laughs. "Is there any other way?"

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shootout on the Football Pitch

Shootouts have, at the last moment, decided many international soccer games in recent years. Naturally, nerds wanted to know why. Just in time for the World Cup, Keith Devlin, Stanford University math professor and NPR math guy, explains the latest research in sudden death penalty kicks during an interview with Scott Simon.

SIMON: More international games ending this way?

DEVLIN: It certainly seems to be. And that certainly happened with last World Cup when there was an exciting shootout between France and Italy.

SIMON: Yeah.

DEVLIN: And Italy got more penalty kicks.

SIMON: So what can the shooter do to improve his odds?

DEVLIN: Yeah. Well, what piqued my interest in this as a mathematician was a study that was done quite recently within the last few months at Liverpool's John Moores University. They confirmed that the best chance for a kicker is to aim for one of the two callers high and to one side. They found out that the speed has to be between 56 and 65 miles and hour. If it's faster than that, then the kicker is going to lose accuracy. If it's slower than 56 miles an hour, then the goalie has a chance to catch it.

SIMON: Of course, if the goalkeeper knows that the odds favor putting it in one of those corners, the goalkeeper will do his best to be in one of those corners, won't he?

DEVLIN: The goalie has to start somewhere in the middle.

SIMON: Mm-hmm.

DEVLIN: But another interesting study says if the goalie is just between three and five inches off the center point, the kicker is going to kick towards the area that's slightly larger. And so if the goalie is three or five inches to one side but then dives towards the other side, his chances of saving it are going to be higher, so...

SIMON: So the goalie can fake him out by - you know how they love to jump around and twitch their hips, right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

DEVLIN: I think you're talking about goalies psyching them out. The most effective one on this one blew me away when I read about it.

SIMON: Yeah.

DEVLIN: The color of the jersey that the goalkeeper wears is a huge factor. This, by the way, was a study done at the University of Chichester in England. If the keeper wears a red jersey, only 54 percent of penalties will succeed. It goes up to 69 percent if it's yellow. If the keeper wears a blue jersey, 72 percent will go in. And the worst thing that the keeper could do is wear a green jersey because then 75 percent of penalty kicks will go in.

The theory, by the way, is that red is a dominant color. It signifies danger and anger, and so that would attract the kicker's attention. As we all know, if you're looking at something you'll probably head in that direction, so the goalie's job is to get the kicker to look at him. Then the chances are going to be higher because he will be able to save the kick.
Read and listen to the full interview.

Or, you could go with the painted-on jersey.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.