January 21st, 2010
07:00 PM ET

13-yr-old Saudi girl sentenced to 90 lashes for bringing cell phone to school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes in front of her classmates. Her crime? She brought a cell phone to school.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/21/art.saudi.woman.jpg caption="FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story."]
A Saudi account of the story printed in "The Daily Mail" says a court also sentenced the child to two months in jail.

The girl reportedly assaulted her teacher after she was caught with the phone. Cell phones are banned in girls' schools in Saudi Arabia. This punishment is harsher than what some Saudi thieves get.

This is sick. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East - because they have all that oil. And this is how they treat children. But as long as we need their oil, we just look the other way.

The country is an absolute monarchy that uses one of the strictest versions of Sharia - or Islamic law - anywhere.

They interpret the law to justify cruel punishment like amputation, stoning, public beheadings and crucifixions.

Saudi women are not allowed to drive - and in public, they must be completely covered and accompanied by a male relative at all times. Flogging is mandatory for "moral" offenses like adultery or being alone with an unrelated person of the opposite sex.

The ruler, King Abdullah, has supported some social reforms in the last few years - but in many instances, the religious clerics have so much power they can pretty much call the shots.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Saudi Arabia • U.S. Global Image • United States
January 21st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What will it take to get a viable third party going in U.S.?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The independent voter is one of the main reasons Democrats lost Ted Kennedy's long-held Senate seat in Massachusetts this week.

A survey conducted by one GOP pollster found Republican Scott Brown won 64 percent of independents... compared to 34 percent for the Democrat Martha Coakley.

One short year ago - it was these same independents who overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama and launched him into the presidency.

But with the Democrats now in control of Congress and the White House for the past year, independents are sick and tired of feeling ignored by their so-called representatives.

These critical independent voters are mostly white, middle-class and middle-aged suburbanites, and they're sick of high unemployment, bank and auto bailouts, government spending and taxes, among other things.

So what we're seeing in places like Massachusetts, and also in those governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia, is swing voters swinging the other way.

It's sort of like watching large groups of people rushing from one side of the Titanic to the other, causing the ship to lurch alternately from port to starboard - left to right.

We just went through this a year ago when they all ran away from the Republicans and to the Democrats.

Fact is, neither option is any good. Both parties stink. Our government is broken and no longer serves the needs of the people. Time for real change.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to get a viable third party going in this country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 21st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why would the Pentagon ignore Ft. Hood shooter's ties to Islam?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Pentagon report into the massacre at Fort Hood that left 13 dead is a joke. There is no mention of the suspect's views of Islam. None.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/21/art.hasan.jpg caption="Major Nidal Hasan"]
In fact, the 86-page report doesn't even once mention Major Nidal Hasan by name. It lumps in radical Islam with other fundamentalist religious beliefs... and instead focuses on things like military personnel policies and the emergency response to the Nov. shootings.

This despite the fact that Hasan made no secret of his radical Islamic faith. He allegedly proselytized to his fellow service members and spoke out against the wars the U.S. military is waging in Muslim counties.

John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, tells Time magazine the Pentagon's silence on Islamic extremism "shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become." The Texas Congressman whose district includes Fort Hood says this report "ignores the elephant in the room - radical Islamic terrorism is the enemy."

The Pentagon acknowledges it didn't focus so much on Hasan's motives as on "actions and effects." They say they didn't want to interfere with the criminal probe into Hasan. Garbage.

Meanwhile a new Gallup poll shows 43 percent of Americans admit to feeling at least a little prejudice toward Muslims - that's more than twice the number who feel that way about Christians, Jews and Buddhists.

The survey also finds Islam is the most negatively viewed religion - one-third of those surveyed say their opinion of Islam is "not favorable at all."

Here’s my question to you: Why would the Pentagon choose to ignore the Fort Hood shooter's ties to Islam in its report?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Fort Hood • Pentagon
January 21st, 2010
02:34 PM ET