On the topic of Net Neutrality, the Ornithophobe posted a link to a very funny piece on the Daily Show where “Resident Expert” John Hodgman does a very good job of explaining the nature of Net Neutrality. Yes, it is done with humor, but it’s a good enough summation for lay people.
It doesn’t matter what the results are in the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election — President Bush will not hand over the presidency to the next elected President on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009. That’s what my co-worker told me this week. If he’s able to swallow that idea whole, I’m sure he is equally convinced that the Twin Towers collapsed due to controlled demolitions. His basic argument relies on President Bush being an evil power-hungry megalomaniac intent on gaining control of the entire government. You can tell this is so by the number of high-ranking Democrats he has had arrested and executed.
If you can’t tell from my sarcasm, I’m not a big believer in this theory. I do believe that, come Jan. 20, 2009, someone other than George W. Bush will be standing there with one hand on the Bible, swearing to defend the Constitution. I remember that some conservatives were likewise worried that President Clinton might use some legal pretext to invalidate the inauguration of 2001, but the reins of power were handed over.
What prevents President Bush from being elected to a third term? Well, for one thing, the 22nd Amendment — which limits any given President to two elected terms of office. I can hear ‘em now: “Yeah, but Bush was selected, not elected in 2000, so he can still be elected in 2008!” Oh, puh-lease! Comments like that make me want to check for the presence of tinfoil under your hat.
The final argument I was given to support the idea of President Bush staying in office suggested that, because we are at war or due to emergency, there might be some exercise of the War Powers Act. I don’t buy this either. We have changed Presidents in the middle of war before. We did it in 1945 near the end of World War II and in 1963 during the Vietnam War. Granted, both of these changes occurred because of the death of the previous President. But President Eisenhower was elected during the Korean War, and President Nixon was elected in the middle of the Vietnam War.
So what, other than an advanced case of BDS, makes you believe that President Bush won’t hand over the Presidency in 2009?
[The only way a Bush could be sworn into office in 2009 is if someone else with that surname were to run for President. At the moment, I can think of only one potential 2008 candidate related to someone who was previously a President of the United States. Hint: it ain't Laura.] –TPK
CNN is reporting on a classified intelligence report dealing with our fight against the terrorists who hate us.
A classified intelligence report concludes that the Iraq war has worsened the terrorist threat to the United States, U.S. officials told CNN Sunday.
Some intelligence officials have said as much in the past, but the newly revealed document is the first formal report on global trends in terrorism by the National Intelligence Estimate, which is put out by the National Intelligence Council.
[And now for a gratuitous shift of focus from the subject of the report - CM]As Democrats seized on the report to support their position on the war, violence Sunday left at least nine Iraqis and two U.S. Marines dead at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
And raising doubts whether the Iraqis can maintain order once a security operation in Baghdad concludes, The Associated Press reported Sunday that some U.S. soldiers working in Shiite neighborhoods say the Iraqi troops are among the worst they’ve ever seen. ["Iraq is a failure" reporting - done. Now back to the actual subject of the news report - CM]
The White House Sunday said a New York Times report on the National Intelligence Estimate document “is not representative of the complete document.”
Has Iraq become a magnet for the terrorist thugs who hate us? Of course it has become exactly that, but here’s my question: would you rather have soldiers fighting terrorists thousands of miles away from Hometown USA, or would you rather battle them daily as you drive to the local 7-Eleven? Frankly, I’d rather keep terrorists away from my home, and I really don’t care that killing terrorists makes other terrorists mad.
Let’s think about this for a second. If you fight terrorists, you will make them mad at you, and they will want to fight you in return. It is a normal and natural human reaction. But liberals would have you believe that this reaction completely invalidates President Bush’s plans for fighting terrorists. After all, they surmise, if we left them alone, they’d leave us alone. Fighting them just makes them hate us even more.
Baloney. This liberal argument can be dismissed with two words: “Nine/Eleven.” Almost 3,000 people were peacefully going about their lives on that September morning when terrorists took the fight to them, killing them all. Terrorists following the philosophy of radical Islam have been fighting the West for decades. Their hatred for the West in general and Americans in particular didn’t begin with our invasion of Iraq to remove a dictating thug.
But what about that report? Why are we seeing excerpts of a classified document being published in the press for everyone — including terrorists — to read?
Mario Loyola makes a great point about the way CIA is leaking confidential information for political points:
A former senior administration official told me that in the run-up to the 2002 mid-term election, he remembers being horrified at how the CIA was leaking qualified intelligence estimates “like a sieve” for political effect. He thinks that the CIA and the State Department are both political assets for the Democrats, but unlike the State Department, which more often undermines the president quietly, the CIA actively intervenes in national elections by systematically leaking stuff calculated to have an adverse political impact on Republicans.
That this latest “secret” report (Iraq-makes-terrorism-worse) was leaked for political effect is obvious in the “conclusion” of the report, which turns on a philosophical (and policy) question that no intelligence credential makes one particularly qualified to address: Is Iraq part of the War on Terror, and will fighting them over there keep us from having to face them here? If you think the campaign in Iraq is part of the War on Terror, then examining whether terrorist recruitment has increased as a result is like measuring public opinion polls in Germany in the days after D-Day to see if the invasion is succeeding.
Attacking your enemies can be expected to make them angrier. Hitting the beaches at Normandy is going to increase your casualties. Those are things you’ll see on your way to victory.
Democrats are using this illegally leaked report to call for a change of leadership. Which makes me wonder: when the troops hit the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, were there any people in government who called for a change of leadership because the body count went up and Germans really started to hate us?
UPDATE (9/26/2006 12:37:22 PM): President Bush is confronting the people who are speculating over the leaked document by releasing the document in question. He has called for the parts that do not reveal sensitive data-gathering methods and techniques to be removed, but the rest will be declassified and released. Then we can read what these leakers have been whispering about.
Charles Krauthammer wrote an excellent article in The Washington Post about the Muslim ire over Pope Benedict’s quoting of a 14th century emperor about Islam. It’s a short read, but here’s the beginning to tantalize you.
Religious fanatics, regardless of what name they give their jealous god, invariably have one thing in common: no sense of humor. Particularly about themselves. It’s hard to imagine Torquemada taking a joke well.
Today’s Islamists seem to have not even a sense of irony. They fail to see the richness of the following sequence. The pope makes a reference to a 14th-century Byzantine emperor’s remark about Islam imposing itself by the sword, and to protest this linking of Islam and violence:
* In the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims attack seven churches.
* In London, the ever-dependable radical Anjem Choudary tells demonstrators at Westminster Cathedral that the pope is now condemned to death.
* In Mogadishu, Somali religious leader Abubukar Hassan Malin calls on Muslims to “hunt down” the pope. The pope not being quite at hand, they do the next best thing: shoot dead, execution-style, an Italian nun who worked in a children’s hospital.
“How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I’ll kill you for it” is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.
First Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Danish cartoons. And now a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.
And the intimidation succeeds: politicians bowing and scraping to the mob over the cartoons; Saturday’s craven New York Times editorial telling the pope to apologize; the plague of self-censorship about anything remotely controversial about Islam — this in a culture in which a half-naked pop star blithely stages a mock crucifixion as the highlight of her latest concert tour.
Back in the later 80s a common BBS tagline I used when talking religion was “Believe in a loving god, infidel, or die!” This has left the realm of humor and has become a statement of fact, thanks to the knee-jerk reaction by Muslims.
Here’s the scene — on the fifth anniversary of the attack of Sept. 11th, 2001, George “Brother Jed” Smock, a Christian preacher, stood holding a Bible in one hand and a Koran in the other at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. He was denouncing Islam as violent and calling Allah a false god. According to the Minnesota Daily newspaper, an unidentified Muslim woman took offense at his words and tried to take the Koran from him. When he refused, she hit and kicked him. She succeeded in breaking his glasses, and she tried to choke him with his own tie.
When the University police arrived, they arrested the woman for assault and battery. Yeah, right. Maybe in another parallel universe, but not here. There is no report of the Muslim woman being arrested for her physical abuse of the street preacher. But Smock was warned (read: threatened) that if he didn’t stop preaching, he could be arrested for disorderly conduct.
I can feel badly for the Muslim. I’m sure she wasn’t used to the fact that people have freedom of speech in the United States, and they can use it to attack other religions. Smock did exactly that when he was bad-mouthing Islam. Trey Parker and Matt Stone routinely bash and mock religions in their television cartoon, South Park. And artists like Madonna and Andres Serrano create Christian-themed art and media that are seen as objectionable, even blasphemous, to many Christians. Either Christians are too wimpy to stand up for their beliefs, or they are mature enough that they don’t need to lash out at their detractors like a five-year-old in a snit. I believe it is the latter.
In Muslim nations, insulting Islam, attempting to convert someone away from Islam, or choosing to convert to another faith are punishable acts. So I can understand why the woman tried to physically restrain Smock from saying what he did. But this is the United States, and we still have our First Amendment rights, even if that Amendment is under assault. You can tell that this isn’t a common understanding in Islam. Consider Batool Al-Alawi, a Kuwaiti student who confronted Smock and another preacher at Indiana State University at Terre Haute. According to the Indiana Statesman, Al-Alawi charged the steps where Smock was preaching and told him, “You have no right.” Well, sorry, Ms. Al-Alawi, but he does have the right, no matter how much you might dislike it.
I’ve noticed recently that not everyone is treated the same way when religion and freedom of speech come together. Every six months, the followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for a conference in Salt Lake City to receive teachings from their leaders. This gathering also attracts many people who object to the LDS Church and its teachings, and some of their demonstrations and actions can be deeply insulting to church members. One notorious street preacher paraded before the long lines of faithful Mormons waiting to enter the Conference Center, dragging Mormon scriptures along the ground and using Mormon religious vestments to mime wiping his rear end. To make this relevant to other religions, imagine someone using a Jewish prayer shawl or a Catholic Bishop’s stole in like manner. Most LDS members, knowing that they were being taunted, ignored the antics of these street preachers, but one person lost his temper and tried to take the religious garment from the preacher. The police promptly arrested the Mormon and allowed the preacher to continue doing his thing. Strangely, this is the polar opposite of what happened to Smock and his fellow preachers, who were forced off campus by police at both ISU and the University of Minnesota.
Why the difference between Mormons and Muslims? Muslims are treated differently because they are now part of a protected minority here in the States. You can’t treat them as Christians are treated, because the Council for American Islamic Relations would scream “hate crime” if you did.
And I can’t help but think there is another reason why Christians are punished, but Muslims are treated with kid gloves. Christians, as a rule, don’t riot in the streets and issue fatwas calling for people’s deaths. That’s reserved for the followers of Islam, who collectively display the maturity of a five-year-old in a snit.
UPDATE (9/22/2006 1:48:29 PM): This article has been corrected from its original format; there were two separate incidents involving “Brother Jed” Smock, which were accidentally compressed into one in the original article. –TPK
Drudge linked to a very interesting article in The Washington Times today talking about how the House has passed a bill requiring that voters show photo ID to vote by 2008 and provide proof of citizenship by 2010. Ignoring the eight House members who didn’t vote, only four Democrats supported this bill. All the rest of the Democrats, plus 3 Republicans and the lone “independent” (read Socialist), Bernie Sanders, voted against the bill.
The so-called “Voter ID” bill, aimed at stamping out voter fraud, would require voters in federal elections to provide picture identification by 2008 and provide proof of U.S. citizenship by 2010. It was among the recommendations made last year by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican.
“Effective voter registration and voter identification are bedrocks of a modern election system,” they wrote in their final report.
But Democrats, siding with groups that work on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens, called the bill a “modern-day poll tax” and said it would place an insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights.
Did you catch the part I bolded? Democrats are siding with people who work on behalf of illegal aliens, saying that this bill will infringe on their voting rights. Let me make this abundantly clear: Illegal aliens do NOT have voting rights! What part of “ILLEGAL” do these Democrats have a problem comprehending? It’s clear that all but three of the Republicans understand this concept.
Rep. Brian Bilbray, California Republican, countered that the real infringement upon voting rights would be allowing fraudulent votes by the dead or illegal “to cancel out legitimate votes.”
Need more proof that Democrats are unwilling to accept that voter fraud is a problem? Glad you asked.
Democrats, who have long demanded reforms to the federal voting process, [But are completely unwilling to actually do anything about it - CM] yesterday dismissed Republican concerns about voter fraud.
“Show me the examples of the problem you’re trying to solve,” demanded Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat who accused Republicans of trying to appeal to the “fear and — yes, perhaps — the prejudices of people.”
A Republican cited a study by Johns Hopkins University that found 1,500 dead people who had voted in recent elections. Mr. Hoyer belittled the study, saying no criminal convictions for voter fraud had been won in any of those cases.
Mr. Bilbray pointed out that such convictions might be obtained if proper identification were required.
“Voter fraud is not something you can come back to after the fraud is committed,” he said. “The person who voted for those dead people is long gone by the time it comes up on the record.”
I’ve written before about voter fraud and what I’d like to see done to combat it. Photo ID is a good step, and proof of U.S. citizenship is absolutely necessary, but there are other steps we can take to protect our votes and the voting process. Yet Democrats are opposing even the most basic steps. But the reason why they oppose it is not hard to understand.
Democrats are clearly in favor of illegal aliens voting and other forms of voter fraud, because they believe it serves their interests.
Even though today is Talk like a Pirate Day, I’ve decided instead to be a shill for the U.S. military. Here are ten facts about Guantanamo that you may not be aware of if you get your news just from the mainstream media. This comes directly from the military and is dated Sept. 14th, 2006.
- The detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include bin Laden’s bodyguards, bomb makers, terrorist trainers and facilitators, and other suspected terrorists.
- More money is spent on meals for detainees than on the U.S. troops stationed there. Detainees are offered up to 4,200 calories a day. The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.
- The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day. Arrows point detainees toward the holy city of Mecca.
- Detainees receive medical, dental, psychiatric, and optometric care at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. In 2005, there were 35 teeth cleanings, 91 cavities filled, and 174 pairs of glasses issued.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross visits detainees at the facility every few months. More than 20,000 messages between detainees and their families have been exchanged.
- Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, pingpong, and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.
- Departing detainees receive a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.
- Entertainment includes Arabic language TV shows, including World Cup soccer games. The library has 3,500 volumes available in 13 languages — the most requested book is “Harry Potter.”
- Guantanamo is the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare. The Joint Task Force has hosted more than 1,000 journalists from more than 40 countries.
- In 2005, Amnesty International stated that “the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.”
Let’s focus for a bit on the comparison between Guantanamo and the Soviet gulag. Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia about the conditions in the gulag:
Extreme production quotas, malnutrition, harsh elements, inadequate housing, hygiene, and medical care, as well as brutal treatment by camp officials, guards, and fellow prisoners were the major reasons for high fatality rates, which in extreme cases could be as high as 80%.
And Gitmo is “the gulag of our times”? Oh, please!
Here’s something else worth considering. The media would have you believe that the “torture” that went on at Abu Ghraib was pandemic and widespread, indicative of the entire military force in Iraq, when they represented only a vanishingly small percentage of problem soldiers. Abu Ghraib has hit the news again recently with reports of torture, but now under Iraqi hands:
An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.
Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.
“The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,” said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.
Yarr! It be Talk Like A Pirate Day this day! On this fine day, the Cap’n be callin’ out a hearty “Yarr harr!” to all thems that blows on by.
Fer yer viewing pleasure, here be some videos on YouTube dealin’ with the subject o’ pirates. First, here be Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, the duo wot created Talk Like A Pirate day, explainin’ the Five A’s that be needed to be talkin’ like a pirate, and then they be singin’ a fine piratical ditty accomp’nied by young Chumpail.
Talk Like a Pirate Day: The Five A’s
Talk Like a Pirate Day: “I’m a Pirate” song
And fer the kid in all of us, here be the “You Are a Pirate” song crafted by th’ talents of th’ creators of Lazytown, from Iceland. Yarr! Ye have no idea how often The Pirate King be watchin’ this. That wench be unwell!
Lazytown: “You are a pirate” song
I believe in the power of forgiveness. It is a blessing for the person who forgives as it is for the person who is forgiven. True forgiveness requires an apology, and admission of guilt and remorse. If you are married, you should apologize to your loved one for every bone-headed thing you do. As Lazarus Long says, “In a family argument, if it turns out that you are right — apologize at once!”
But there are people to whom you should never apologize at all — the ranks of the perpetually pissed-off people. Never apologize to one of these pissed-off people, even if you are in the wrong! That may sound harsh and unlike any advice you have ever heard before, but admitting your guilt to the perpetually pissed-off seems to be the same, to them, as admitting weakness. It grants them license to accuse you of every slight and misdoing from then on. You have caved to them. They won’t accept it as a token of your sincerity and commend you for it. Instead, the perpetually pissed-off people will see your apology as an opening to demand restitution, and they will demand it forever.
The so-called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson is an expert at using his own state of perpetual pissed-offedness to get money from companies for his own group and people. A formal complaint was filed against Jackson, accusing him of extorting money from corporations, including the sale of an Anheuser-Busch distributorship to Jackson’s sons.
Don’t apologize to whiney liberals, cry-baby environmentalists, or aggrieved minority groups. Consider what happened when Congress, back in 1993, issued an Apology Resolution for the actions taken a century before in overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii. The aggrieved group known as the Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom is using the 1993 apology as its basis to challenge U.S. sovereignty on the islands. They are not content to accept the apology in the spirit it was given — they want, and must have, more!
As a group, Muslims around the world are a notable part of the perpetually pissed-off. Someone claims falsely that a Koran was flushed at Gitmo — riots! Cartoonists draw pictures about Islam and Mohammed — riots! Most recently, Pope Benedict XVI quotes someone centuries dead — riots! Get the picture? Since there may be a few people who haven’t heard what has caused Muslims around the world to get their collective panties in a bunch, I’ll print it again. Steel yourselves for the unparalleled horror of what he said:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Meh. I’m still waiting to see a Muslim prove the Pope’s quote was wrong. Their actions have so far confirmed exactly what was said. Technically, Pope Benedict was quoting Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologos, but I doubt your average rampaging Muslim on the street knows it — or has even read the entire set of remarks by the Pope.
Don’t apologize to perpetually pissed-off people. Tell them to pull their thumbs out of their mouths, stop crying like babies, and get on with their lives.
Welcome to the Captain’s Comments!
If you are hitting this page from the Internet, you clicked on an old link that is redirecting here by the new software.
You can find the correct page by searching for the title or key words in the search bar to the right. In the meantime, I’m seeing if there is a way via code to redirect you to the proper post when given the old site’s comment ID.
In the meantime, here are some commonly hit pages on my site (in no real order):