Shocking News about Murray Hill

When working as a bike messenger, certain neighborhoods became very familiar. For example, I had a lot of deliveries that centered from midtown to downtown. One neighborhood, Murray Hill, always stuck in my head. Mostly because Jamie and Paul’s dog on Mad About Youthe border collie mix, was named Murray. (Ahh, did I just admit that little tidbit? Don’t tell anyone.) Today, there was a shocking piece of news about Murray Hill.

All Is Fair in Blogging and Jihad

Sohail Husain quotes English poet John Lyly in his article on jihad. All is fair in love and war. And then he goes on to deny jihad is a holy war. Um, Dr. Husain, you probably chose the wrong quote to try to convince us of that:

First, a clarification: The Arabic word “jihad” does not equate to the oxymoron “holy war.” Nothing is holy about war. Jihad is actually a constant inner struggle to be a better person. As a physician, for example, my jihad is to treat my patients in the most compassionate manner.

Flag of Jihad 1

Can jihad ever be used to justify war? Only in a very narrow sense: The fact is that throughout his lifetime, the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, sought to avoid war. In the first 13 years of his ministry, he and his followers were persecuted in their hometown of Mecca for belief in the unity of God. Many of them were brutally tortured.

Ach, there we go with that My Jihad bit again. I don’t doubt that Dr. Husain is a good doctor considering his training. But he needs to tell the terrorists to stop using the j word. Telling us what it means does no good when we see evidence to the contrary.

He Misspoke about Jihad Makdissi

Be careful what you say to the press, be extra careful what you say to CNN. Take the case of Jihad Makdissi, a Syrian spokesman: The mystery of Makdissi’s whereabouts got a boost in the last few days after U.S. envoy to Syria Robert Ford told CNN that the former Syrian official “has fled to the U.S. as a refugee,” only to be contradicted by the State Department hours later reiterating that “Makdissi is not in the United States and Ambassador Ford misspoke.” Ah, yes. He misspoke. Roger. . .

Hey Pirates, Beware of Anthony Sharp of Typhon!

I will read any article titled: This Tech Entrepreneur Is About to Launch the Blackwater of the High Seas. The techie is Anthony Sharp and his company is called Typhon:

Anthony Sharp of Typhon, a new private security firm
Anthony Sharp of Typhon, a new private security firm

Anthony Sharp, a 50-year-old veteran of tech startups, grew up with a love for ships. On February 7, he’ll turn that boyhood affection into what might be the first private navy since the 19th century. Sharp’s newest company, Typhon, will offer a fleet of armed ex-Royal Marines and sailors to escort commercial ships through pirate-infested waters. In essence, Typhon wants to be the Blackwater of the sea, minus the stuff about accidentally killing civilians.

Sharp thinks the market is ripe for Typhon, a company named for a monster out of Greek myth. Budget cuts are slicing into the wallets of the militaries that provide protection from pirates. The conflicts and weak governments that incubate piracy in places like Somalia persist. “Maritime crime is growing at the same time that navies are shrinking,” Sharp tells Danger Room by telephone from the U.K. “The policemen are going off the beat.” Sharp thinks that creates a potent opportunity for the fleet he’s buying.

The policemen are going off the beat? Hey, not so fast. We are still out here!

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Coke Superbowl Ad Called Racist Against Arabs?

Uh oh, here we go with the R word. Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, thought the below Superbowl Coca-Cola ad racist:

Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, called this Coca-Cola Ad racist
Warren David, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) called this Coca-Cola Ad racist

Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert. He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic “Mad Max” film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.

In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.

“The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,” Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said in an email.

“What message is Coke sending with this?” asked Abed Ayoub, ADC’s director of legal and policy affairs. “By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial,” he said.

CBS declined comment. Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said Coke took a “cinematic” approach with the ad, employing the characters as a nod to movies of the past.

“Coca-Cola is an inclusive brand enjoyed by all demographics,” she said in an email. “We illustrate our core values, from fun and refreshment to happiness, inspiration and optimism across all of our marketing communications.”

Wanna know what’s really prejudicial? Being a horse or camel jockey! I’m too tall! Racists.

Maxing Out with Princess Maxima

Anyone named Princess Maxima is okay in my book. (A picture of the maxed-out one with her navally husband, Prince Willem-Alexander) The Princess, the former Maxima Zorreguieta, will soon be Queen of her country and her husband King. A whispered rumor is that they two went dutch on their first date. (Be careful, don’t call her Nissan. It irks her.)

I Visited a Russian Sub and All I Got Was…

Vlad the Inhaler had a conference call with the crew of the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine, which houses 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles. He also received this stylish shirt in an on-board MWR, white-elephant gift exchange:

President Vladimir Putin, center, receives a navy t-shirt as a gift, on board a navy ship in Severomorsk, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Russian Navy's commander-in-chief Viktor Chirkov is at left, and Vladislav Malakhovsky, captain of the Peter the Great nuclear powered cruiser is at right.
President Vladimir Putin receives a navy t-shirt as a gift, on board a navy ship in Severomorsk, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Russian Navy’s commander-in-chief Viktor Chirkov is at left, and Vladislav Malakhovsky, captain of the Peter the Great nuclear powered cruiser is at right.

Hey Habibi, Here’s Yer Lykan Hypersport!

The Middle East is infamous for not producing anything other than oil, hummus, and pop-songs with habibi in them. Chalk up the Lykan Hypersport, from Lebanese entrepreneur and designer Ralph Debbas’ W Motors, as the first supercar from the region:

Lykan Hypersport, from Dubai-based startup W Motors
Lykan Hypersport, from Dubai-based startup W Motors

Supercars are a common sight in some parts of the Middle East, but until now, that region of the world has gone without an exotic of its own. Enter the Lykan Hypersport, an ultra-exclusive ride from Dubai-based startup W Motors. The upcoming car is said to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds and offer Lamborghini-rivaling style for $3.4 million, according to WardsAuto.

The Lykan Hypersport is the brainchild of Lebanese entrepreneur and designer Ralph Debbas, who began thinking up the supercar when he was an automotive design student. The wild, angular seven-figure exotic will be officially revealed to the public at the Qatar auto show, where W Motors will display a full-scale model made of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, and built with help from specialty coachbuilder Magna Steyr Torino. The model currently lacks an interior and drivetrain, but will be powered by a midship flat-six engine from RUF, the company famous for custom Porsches.

Hey habibi, this sled is you!