November 24th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Amr Khaled

He despises radical Islam as much as anybody, and he has the power to do something about it.

Khaled landed in Sana’a, Yemen, on Tuesday to kick off his training course on moderation for preachers and other leaders. The project will target 70 preachers from across the country.

“The projects will focus on spreading Islamic thought and moderation as well as fighting extremism and violence,” Yemen’s state-run news agency, Saba, reported. “One of them, Balda Tayeba, targets Yemeni young leaders to train them to spread moderation thoughts and projects directing the youth to do good and reform and root out extremism through charitable projects.”

The news agency further reported President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with Khaled and praised the initiative.

Middle East Online said Khaled and the selected preachers will confront extremism and al Qaeda-like ideologies via television interviews, meetings with army leaders and "interviews with some penitent extremists."

Khaled heads Right Start Foundation International, a group whose aims include empowering women, anti-drug and -smoking campaigns and building bridges with non-Muslims.

“[Osama] bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims,” he was once quoted as saying. “Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody.”

He has spoken extensively on how Muslims can tap their faith and activism to integrate into Western societies, yet he still holds some traditional Muslim views (women should wear headscarves, for example).

Time magazine in 2007 compared the 43-year-old Egyptian layman to Dr. Phil and Rick Warren and said he was among 100 people whose power, talent or moral examples were transforming the world.

Kelli Space

The 23-year-old Northeastern University grad screwed up royally, and she knows it.

After graduating last year, Space learned she would be saddled with more than $200,000 in student loan debt - for an undergraduate degree.

In an e-mail to Gawker, she explained that despite landing a job out of college, she lives with her parents and is making monthly payments of $891 that she can’t afford. The payments will balloon to $1,600 a month next November.

(Tuition, room, board and student fees cost almost $50,000 a year at Northeastern).

Space acknowledges that she, being the first in her family to graduate college, didn’t understand the ramifications of taking out so many loans, but she accepts responsibility for her actions.

She’d like a little help, though, and if it sparks dialogue about how unwitting students end up with an average of $24,000 in debt upon graduation, so be it.

She has set up a blog, twohundredthou.com, to request donations, but also to cast a spotlight on the problem. She insists she is no beggar and that she doesn’t want her solicitation to take away from worthy charities.

My loans are absolutely my cross to bear alone, and I’ve been making regular payments since I began my payment plan,” she wrote. “I never intend to default, and since I have such a small chance of declaring bankruptcy, I don’t intend to take that 'easy way out' either.”

As of Wednesday morning, she had tallied $2,016.55.

George Donnelly

The devout libertarian and activist wants you to stay off planes Wednesday because of what he feels is an invasion of privacy by the Transportation Security Administration.

Donnelly’s website, wewontfly.com, is one of the impetuses behind National Opt-Out Day. If you must fly, the website has several ways you can protest the full-body scanners and pat downs.

Aside from filing complaints with the American Civil Liberties Union and TSA, Donnelly also suggests demanding that "the TSA use fresh gloves.”

Donnelly told The Daily Caller that he and co-organizer James Babb first decided to take up the cause after seeing children “traumatized” by the TSA. They didn’t want their own children to go through the security measures.

He elaborated on his personal website, referring to the TSA’s X-ray machines as “naked porno body scanners” and pat downs as “enhanced groping.”

“Airlines need security, but this is not the way. The state has monopolized airline security. As we all know, monopolies suck,” he wrote.

Donnelly, of course, is not alone in his criticism. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is among those joining the chorus of Americans outraged by the scanners and pat downs.

Recent polls show that the majority of Americans don’t mind the body scanners, despite refuted claims of danger from radiation. Americans seem markedly more annoyed by the pat downs, according to the polls.

Donnelly has his opponents, including a Slate author who referred to Donnelly and his ilk as imbeciles for ignoring the need for safety and speedy security lines.

The jab will likely roll off Donnelly’s back, considering he's no stranger to confrontation. Just ask the U.S. marshals who arrested him earlier this year in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. kellen

    Dr Bad, so when is your book coming out?

    November 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Boney

    Kellen I agree...should be really interesting with everything Dr. Bad has done in his life. I just wonder why he hates women so much...

    November 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alanis

    Dr. Bad, I think Christine is probably afraid of you.

    November 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kellen

    Lying on a beach in scrubs?! hehe

    November 25, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mehdi General Dr Bad

      oops,,o. I. c. "Laying ON The Bech IN her Bikini (well BRa Top and panties), oh and peshawar,,lol

      November 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    That poor girl-$200,000 in debt for her college education. Dam!

    November 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |