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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Terrorism/Islam Expert Steven Emerson On Fox News - about Birmingham and the no go zones all over

Europe - Remember this guy has appeared on Fox News dozens and dozens of times as one of their foremost advisers and experts on Terrorism and Islam

Steven Emerson On Fox News - Birmingham is all Muslim (Full clip)

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Jan 13, 2015, 12:56 PM (1 replies)

a friend who has travelled the Middle East more than anyone I know wrote this response on FB

Facebook to this article: Hi Peter. Would you care to comment on this article?

These crimes have everything to do with Islam by Paul Sheehan

Date January 12, 2015


I might add that I met this friend more than twenty years ago when we were both working in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. He worked and lived a number of places in the Middle East and travelled extensively throughout the region - more than anyone else I know. He is from Australia but is a graduate of the American University of Paris and also lived in France for a number of years. He is a bit of an amateur expert on ancient Middle Eastern and Islamic architecture and art. Since the issue is sometimes raised, my friend happens to be gay and has always been quite openly so wherever he has been. In fact he is the sort of person who probably is going to be openly gay whether he wants to or not.

Anyway here is his response:

Inflammatory clickbait, I'm afraid, from a media organization that once tried to rise above Rupert Murdoch and his populist ilk, but now increasingly travels alongside them on the low road - perhaps out of desperation for "page views" to sell its online ads than anything else. It was published to be inflammatory and incite endless comment.

The writer has clearly not visited most of the countries he writes about. I have, several times each, over decades, and can attest that they are the safest countries I have travelled in, and that their citizens could not have been kinder to me. I'd travel to any of them again in a minute. How could anyone in their right mind consider countries such as Iran and Turkey, for example, "unsafe" if they had not been there? Picking out the errors in this article is like shooting stoned fish in a barrel - too easy to be worth my time. This is one reason I travel and chose to live overseas for extended periods - to form opinions based on lived experiences, rather than play games of armchair politics or pontificate on subjects I only know from reading dyspeptic or perfervid articles like this. One example why I'd never trust the Australian media to accurately portray any event in the Middle East was the reporting of the murder of the Australian nurse in December 1996, on the Saudi Arabian compound I lived on, in the week before I was about to fly back to Melbourne for Christmas. I was there, I knew all the facts surrounding the case, all the people involved, and the way the media portrayed the British nurse who was eventually charged with the murder as some kind of a "victim" of the Saudi Arabia legal system was nothing short of scandalous. It was a routine homicide carried out by an amateur, and conviction was based on an incredible wealth of evidence - which many of us saw first hand, including the victim's scratches all over the murderer's arms. The principal detective did a very thorough and professional job, and included photographic evidence. I learnt never to underestimate just how racist our media can be.

On the subject of jihad, it is useful to remember that the West goes on its jihads too, and Australia is never far behind when the call to arms is made. George Bush's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, were framed as missions with religious overtones, smiting and smoking out "evildoers" while spreading liberation in its wake. Countries that refuse to bow to Western hegemony are branded "Axis of Evil". Australia's rush to support the US invasion of Vietnam against the godless Communists was framed with similarly religious soliloquies in order to help manufacture consent. A few decades earlier, the Nazis actually created a new Aryan religion in order to support and justify their wars. Before that, of course, it was the West's mission to colonize lands far beyond its shores and convert the coloured subjects it found there - saving them from themselves.

It's also useful to remember that of the more than 100 million war deaths in the 20th century, less than 2 percent came at the hands of Muslim-majority nations. Most of those dead (the less than 2 percent) came in wars where non-Muslim nations played a significant role—such as the Iran/Iraq War, where the United States and other European countries such as France, Germany and Sweden aided the aggressor Iraq...and the Afghan Civil War, where the Soviet Union was a major military force, the Reagan administration later coaxing the Taliban genie out of the bottle to combat them, showering them with weapons and training. But the author of the article you've shared would imagine that the West had its hands clean in those particular wars. He knows nothing of history or reality, or prefers not to know.

On a final note, the Muslim people I know are just lovely people, full of fun and just want to get on with living a peaceful and productive life. They prefer to see Christians as fellow "People of the Book", meaning we share far more common heritage and values than any imagined differences. We are far more alike in terms of heritage than the West may be with India, China, or African nations, for example. But all this is smoke and mirrors. Fear and division aids those who wish to control us if we exist in a state of ignorance. I'm far more concerned about the immense destruction of overfishing and uncontrolled trawling of our oceans, or the irreversible destruction of the world's old-growth forests, for example, than I am of anything the media would have me scared of...

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Jan 13, 2015, 05:11 AM (78 replies)

Question submitted by Douglas Carpenter

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Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 03:42 PM (0 replies)

Question submitted by Douglas Carpenter

The text of this question will be publicly available after it has been reviewed and answered by a DU Administrator. Please be aware that sometimes messages are not answered immediately. Thank you for your patience. --The DU Administrators
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 03:34 PM (0 replies)

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns deadly attack on Paris magazine

RIYADH/PARIS — Saudi Arabia condemned Wednesday’s shooting attack on a French satirical magazine.

“...The Kingdom strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing an official source.

Egypt’s leading Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, also condemned the attack, which killed at least 12 people including two police officers, the worst militant attack on French soil for decades.

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the “hateful act,” and urged Muslims and Christians “to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism.”

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 01:46 PM (0 replies)

Wall Street Journal: Muslim Leaders Condemn Attack, Warn on Anti-Islamic Sentiment in Europe

by Joe Parkinson for the Wall Street Journal

Muslim leaders strongly condemned the deadly attack on offices of a French satirical magazine but at the same time, some cautioned that the rise of anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe risked strengthening support for jihadists across the continent.

In the capitals of Muslim nations, government ministers took to the airwaves to voice sympathy and solidarity with France after gunmen killed 12 people in the assault on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a magazine targeted in the past for cartoons that some Muslims found offensive

In Europe and the U.S., Muslim leaders called for tolerance while some mosques stepped up security in case of reprisal attacks. On social media sites Twitter and Facebook, Islamic organizations denounced the violence, with many using the top-trending #CharlieHebdo to express solidarity.

In Cairo, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Egypt “stands in France’s corner” in a fight against terrorism that threatens global security and stability. That message was echoed by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and in Iraq, where authorities are waging war against extremist group Islamic State with expanding air and ground support from a U.S.-led international coalition.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the attack as terrorism in a message to French President François Hollande, and said such “heinous crimes” are condemned by morality and religion.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 01:39 PM (6 replies)

Islamic Leaders Condemn Paris Attack, Some Warn on Backlash

By Bloomberg News Jan 8, 2015 2:58 PM PT

Leaders from Muslim countries and organizations joined the worldwide condemnation of today’s deadly attack on a magazine office in Paris, and said it shouldn’t be associated with the Islamic faith.

The following is a roundup of some of the reactions.

* Al-Azhar, the thousand-year-old seat of religious learning in Cairo that’s respected by Muslims around the world, referred to the attack as a criminal act, saying that “Islam denounces any violence,” according to Egypt’s state news agency MENA.

* The Organization of the Islamic Conference strongly condemned the attack. A spokesperson for the OIC’s Islamophobia Observatory in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia said that violence and radicalism are “biggest enemies of Islam.”

* The French Council of the Muslim Religion condemned the “barbaric” attack and said that first thoughts are with the victims and their families. It also called on “all those committed to the values of the Republic and democracy to avoid provocations that only serve to throw oil on the fire,” and on French Muslims to “exercise the utmost vigilance against possible manipulations from extremist groups.”

* Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, “condemns the attack” and “sends condolences to the government and people of France,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

* “Egypt stands by France in confronting terrorism, an international phenomenon that targets the world’s security and stability and which requires coordinated international efforts to eradicate,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

read more reactions from several countries across the region:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 12:04 PM (8 replies)

CNN: Becky Anderson reports from Abu Dhabi on regional reaction to the killing of 12 people in Paris

including four cartoonists at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:55 AM (0 replies)

Here’s Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Is Just Plain Wrong By Robert Reich

First some background. We used to think about trade policy as a choice between “free trade” and “protectionism.” Free trade meant opening our borders to products made elsewhere. Protectionism meant putting up tariffs and quotas to keep them out.

In the decades after World War II, America chose free trade. The idea was that each country would specialize in goods it produced best and at least cost. That way, living standards would rise here and abroad. New jobs would be created to take the place of jobs that were lost. And communism would be contained.

For three decades, free trade worked. It was a win-win-win.

It’s no longer free trade versus protectionism. Big corporations and Wall Street want some of both.

But they want less protection of consumers, workers, small investors, and the environment, because these interfere with their profits. So they’ve been seeking trade rules that allow them to override these protections.

Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations. Philip Morris is using a similar provision against Uruguay (the provision appears in a bilateral trade treaty as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits – say, a regulation between Uruguay and Switzerland), claiming that Uruguay’s strong anti-smoking regulations unfairly diminish the company’s profits.

Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions.

read full article:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 7, 2015, 01:54 PM (14 replies)

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have


This article does not relate or deal with the cause - But with a basic explanation of what it is - The article which was published in salon.com was taken from a rather complex academic work on neuroscience called - “The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition” by Gregory Hickok

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have wrong

The dominant autism theories -- assuming a lack of or diminished social sensitivity -- need to be reexamined

by Gregory Hickok

Copyright © 2014 - Gregory Hickok is a professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Language Science and the Auditory and Language Neuroscience Lab. The article is fairly long and technical but well worth the read.

(Credit: Ollyy, vitstudio via Shutterstock/Salon)

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have wrong

The dominant autism theories -- assuming a lack of or diminished social sensitivity -- need to be reexamined

by Gregory Hickok

Copyright © 2014 - Gregory Hickok is a professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Language Science and the Auditory and Language Neuroscience Lab. The article is fairly long and technical but well worth the read.


"Here my focus is more circumscribed. I restrict the discussion to the behavioral symptoms of autism and (neuro)cognitive models for explaining those symptoms. I highlight two of the most influential hypotheses, the broken mirror theory and the broken mentalizing theory (or broken theory of mind theory—I use the terms interchangeably). Further, I have no intention of providing a thorough review of the host of experiments that have investigated the range of abilities and disabilities in autism or even provide much depth in my discussion of the cognitive theories themselves. Please consult any of the many primary sources for a broader view.

Instead I have two main goals. One is to address the basic mirror neuron-based account of autism because the theory has been rather influential and a lot is at stake given how many lives autism touches. The other goal is to highlight an alternative perspective on autism in the same way that (I hope) I’ve been able to highlight alternative perspectives on mirror neuron function, embodied cognition, and imitation. Specifically, I’m going to suggest the possibility that the dominant neurocognitive theories of autism, which assume that behavioral deficits result from lack of or diminished social sensitivity, have it wrong and in fact have it backward."


"“Deficit theories” of dysfunction are reasonable and intuitive. If an individual fails to respond normally to sound, it’s a good bet that the person has a diminished capacity to process and hear sound. He simply isn’t capable of perceiving the signal. Likewise, if another individual fails to respond normally to social stimulation, it’s a reasonable bet that the person has a diminished capacity to process social information. But consider the following thought experiment. Imagine you had a stadium rock concert–type sound system hooked up to your living room television and you attempted to watch the evening news with the sound cranked up all the way. Most likely, you would cover your ears and quickly leave. If you forced yourself to stay, you would run into at least one of three problems as you tried to listen and watch. One, the physical pain would be so extreme that you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the message. Two, attempts to dampen the sound and ease the pain, say by sticking your fingers in your ears, would filter out many of the fine details you need to hear normally. You would perceive less well. Three, if you did manage to listen, the extreme volume would excite so many nerve fibers that it would drown out the details of the signal itself and again you would miss many things. Excess can be as detrimental to normal function as paucity."


"I agree that neither theory is satisfactory, but I’m not convinced that more subtle distinctions between types of mirror system or theory of mind operations will fare better. The problem, I suspect, is hidden in the fact that all of this discussion still centers on ideas about what is lacking in autism. Autistic people have no mirror system or no theory of mind or no empathy or no ability to process social information. These are deficiency or hypofunction theories; a good first guess, but not the only possibility. And given that they haven’t had all that much success, maybe it’s time to focus some research effort on a theory based on excess or hypersensitivity. Perhaps autistics don’t experience a socially numbed world but rather a socially intense world."

This is a somewhat long and complex article but I STRONGLY recommend reading it in full:


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 11:47 AM (4 replies)
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