If they can, so can you:
All my reading and perusing today seemed to be along the lines of the problem of Islam. There are several gems which I’d like to bring to y’alls attention.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has put together rebuttals to the Amanpour slander-fest, CNN’s “Holy War”. I have not seen, nor do I care to see (as I like to avoid those things which will certainly shorten my life by raising blood pressure and depleting IQ) this series but I’ve heard naught but the most steady slamming of its vociferous and detestably slanderous lies. Even others in the MSM have taken shots at the show.
CAMERA breaks its rebuttals down into three separate articles :
- God’s Jewish Warriors – CNN’s Abomination
“God’s Jewish Warriors” (is) one of the most grossly distorted programs to appear on mainstream American television in many years. It is false in its basic premise, established in the opening scene in which Jewish (and Christian) religious fervency is equated with that of Muslims heard endorsing “martyrdom,” or suicide-killing. There is, of course, no counterpart among Jews and Christians to the violent jihadist Muslim campaigns underway across the globe, either in numbers of perpetrators engaged or in the magnitude of death and destruction wrought.
- God’s Muslim Warriors — CNN’s Double Standard
While much of the program was informative and fair (in contrast to the propagandistic nature of Part One,”God’s Jewish Warriors”), there were serious flaws and glaring omissions. Among the most important shortcomings, extremist Muslim beliefs and practices were often minimized and many of the key causes for the spread of Muslim supremacist beliefs went unexplored.
- God’s Christian Warriors— CNN Slurs Christians
At the end of this segment, devoted to “God’s Christian Warriors,” Amanpour left viewers with a warning that society cannot ignore “the millions of people who feel their faith is being ignored, is being pushed aside and who are certain they know how to make the world right.”
Given the huge levels of religiously motivated violence taking place in the world today – most of it perpetrated by Muslims against Muslims – Amanpour is right. Religious fundamentalism cannot be ignored.
But if Americans are going to determine how to respond to religious extremism on both an international and societal level, they surely cannot rely on Amanpour’s coverage of the issue. In her coverage of “Christian Warriors” Amanpour demonstrates a predictable inability to discern the difference between Christians in the U.S. who organize politically to affect public policy and suicide bombers in the Middle East who target civilians in an attempt to intimidate their opponents into submission.
So there you have it. CNN thinks I’m as likely as Sadr to kill and maim and destroy life and property merely because I believe that God (not Allah, the false god) has standards and rules and promises blessing to those who follow them. God, unlike the false demon Allah, forbids the killing of people except when they themselves have killed and are judged worthy of that judgment, instead reserving the right to vengeance to Himself and urging us instead to love and seek to turn those who disagree with us with tangible acts of mercy and humility.
Allah, the demon, requires that each of his servants be enactors of bloody retribution on those they deem his enemies. Humans cannot judge the heart or the motives, only God the Just Judge can do that. We have limited means of determining the real events while God with His infinite knowledge and wisdom and insight into each our hearts and minds is the perfect Judge and protects both the innocence of the innocent and the guilt of the guilty with His reserving that vengeance to Himself.
Islam also breed distrust and dishonesty among its adherents. It is permissible to lie in certain circumstances in Islam: when dealing with infidels (that’s us) and when your wife asks if you love her (that makes me mad and sad). In much the same way as Mormonism, the female in Islam is a second-rate baby machine whose purpose here and hereafter is to please the men by providing sexual service in a place of servitude,bringing (male) progeny for the man to further his name. The infidel exists only to be given one chance to convert and then to experience immediate destruction, often in humiliating and horrific manner. There is no acceptance. There is no forgiveness. There is no choice.
Government is a necessary evil, and as such, should be limited to the absolute necessities. Government is necessary because people are prone to wrong, because we are fallen. Many people believe that government is the preferable entity for enacting standards and change, protection and prevention, due to its scale and a false assumption of its responsibility and prerogative.
Perhaps most egregious and insidious of the government’s accepted roles today is regulation. This is applicable both for Federal and State government. Each has responsibilities, which do not constitutionally overlap, and each oversteps its bounds. I will speak of the government as a conglomerate encompassing both the Federal and State leve though, because the problem is the same as is the solution.
Innovation is what occurs where there is little no protection of the status quo. I’m not a strict libertarian, I do not believe, for instance, that researchers ought to be allowed to do as Bretons are considering, creating transgenic creatures part human and part animal through embryonic and DNA manipulation even for the sake of research. And I believe that government has a moral responsibility to prevent this and throw the weight of justice behind it’s policy in the matter. Similarly I believe that the government has the responsibility and the right to protect the innocent, punish the wrongdoer, provide for the common defense, wield the sword against evil, protect the currency and protect commerce.
Government is not well suited to decide and define technology and professional standards. Consider the stifling climate of radio communication, where technology is old and innovation is very limited and drastic in impact. Consider the ending of all analog TV signal broadcasts coming very soon. Given a free and open playing field there may be wildly divergent technologies out there in use, but they would value backwards compatibility as companies would need to ease the upgrade process for their consumers. Instead we get the “punctuated equilibrium” theory of social technology change, which doesn’t work for us any better than it did for the evolutionary theory.
If you fear the ability of money-grubbing, profiteering pirates in the free business world to regulate themselves, develop standards and foster innovation in a natural, progressive manner, you’ve not been watching the technology scene for the last 20 years. As needs appeared, grew, and changed (eg. the internet, flash, java, html, css, ISO, IEEE, IETF, etc) standards bodies supported and funded by the industries have grown and taken over the managing of standards. They maintain equilibrium and allow technology to grow in a measured, gradual and stepwise manner which supports and encourages innovation while maintaining and stable environment for the end user.
In the power and energy and general utilities arena, local governments have the responsibility to decide their involvement in providing services to the citizenry. By giving money to companies for research the government breaks up the innovation-finding, problem-fixing nature of the free market, and any time the natural form of the free market is broken, it loses its efficiency and limits its ability to develop those innovations and fix those problems. If the government didn’t take that money it gave back in the first place, the companies would have immeasurably more resources at their disposal, and it wouldn’t be prone to the common issues of the government giving money back such as cronism, and political contracting and favors.
There is a question I’d ask of anybody regarding this issue. If Thomas Edison were alive today which entity would be the greatest enemy of his innovation: Government or Business?
Government regulation prevents, hampers, impedes, restricts, all in the name of protecting. Business expands, develops, creates, grows, all in the name of profit. Which is worse? Who is protected? Who benefits?
Those protected by government regulation are those who have the most money to buy political influence, businesses. Instead of competing and changing and innovating, they buy off politicians and gain their legislative protection. If it were not acceptable for government to regulate there would be less reason for politicians to be bought off. Think back to early telephone days, you don’t have to be too old to recall when it was illegal for answering machines to be connected to phone lines. It was once illegal to have anything besides the clunky early telephones provided for you by the phone company connected to the phone lines, and they convinced the government this was the case. Eventually the preponderance of evidence that third party systems were so incredibly superior to the bloated, marginally functional systems provided by “Ma Bell” that the government did act in the favor of the consumer and allow alternate systems on the networks. One can only wonder where we’d be at today in telephone technology if the government hadn’t seen fit to regulate the telephone industry to the point where Bell Telephone was the monopoly controller.
In the arguments over Net Neutrality, I feel for the plebes. I don’t want my traffic throttled any more than it already is by the ISP. But is it the government’s responsibility to control this? And if we allow the government to say who can access the internet and at what speed, where is our moral authority when the government wants to say who can’t access the internet?
Perhaps I am more libertarian than I like to think myself to be.
Unfortunately I do not have a hard and fast rule on what should and shouldn’t be regulated. Should local governments be allowed to sign exclusivity agreements with cable companies? The people benefit because the company has a big incentive to build infrastructure to get their service. And the people lose because where competition is stifled, prices go up and innovation (extra and new services and features) go down. Ever wonder why you pay $50/month for cable and only $15/month for DSL? Cable runs on exclusive contracts with metropolitan areas and they can charge whatever they want. DSL runs over telephone wires, which have now been regulated to allow all services and carriers. AT&T owns most of the wires, but they have to lease the wires to any comer, and they still have to service the wire and cannot limit the functionality of the wire in any way. A rare example of good regulation.
Perhaps the best regulation is that which forces the acceptance of free enterprise. Laws which prohibit exclusive service provider agreements with municipalities and mandate phased buyouts of existing contracts. But what are the hidden perils of this regulation? I do not know.
Perhaps a better model will emerge, in a newly deregulated environment. A separation of the infrastructure and the service. AT&T, for instance, will provide only the wire, and will be controlled by a consortium of the service providers, who vote on infrastructure upgrades and changes, and together, based on their respective interest in the infrastructure, finance the changes. This is admittedly a pie-in-the-sky vision at the moment, but it may be workable, and it is an option to government regulation. The industry is already familiar with consortium and groups and it wouldn’t be too much of a leap, just a huge change from what is now.
But the issue is regulation, and regulation is generally bad for those involved. It stifles innovation and protects those who would benefit more from being unprotected.
One of the early posts on this blog was regarding Electronic Voting. In fact, it was one of the very first posts and I can recall writing it from my family’s living room back in California:
…rantings and ravings and very long run-on sentences aside I ask you this: If Visa and MasterCard and Discover and Am-Ex and even Diners Club can do it, why can’t we? Think this through with me: every day, all over the world, there’s a nearly real-time network that securely and with a minimum of fuss and complete transparency and verifiability transfer large sums of money between owners. Now all we’re asking for is a system that presents options, records choices, tallies outcomes, one or two days a year, in a technologically advanced country.
In California this issue is back in the news, and lo and behold, but my hometown paper gets a link from Google News. Now my hometown paper is no paragon of journalistic ability. It’s a rag, a true rag. And people are more likely to subscribe to it because they need a good source of paper to line their pets trays than to actually read what passes for news between those pages. But, the Daily Democrat has arrived. Heaven only can help us now. But asides aside…the issue here is Electronic Voting machines and the continuing saga of too much money, too little planning and no sense whatsoever.
Apparently California counties, at the behest of Secretary of State Deborah Bowen, used most of the federal funds tagged for updating aging voting systems to buy new Electronic Voting systems which were immediately attacked and with which there have been found several issues. I’m not familiar with the actual issues of the systems, but reading my previous post on the issue, linked above, the opinion is still relevant.
Bowen thinks the voting machine companies
can should will assist in covering the cost of transition back to the old ways:
“Sequoia, for example, will want to maintain their clients and help them replace their system by moving them to opti-scan,” said Nicole Winger, director of communications for Bowen. “It has a choice of helping counties or losing them as clients.”
And Sequoia responded:
Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee Columnist, appears to be on one side of sense here. He thinks the voting machines are OK and it’s only a bunch of irrational malcontents and Luddites complaining and fearing everything except fear itself:
Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a lawyer by trade, should reread… the Penal Code. She cast aside the principle of reasonable doubt when she tried and convicted electronic voting system manufacturers of making unsecure (sp) devices — delivering her verdict in an odd, post-midnight news conference Saturday.
If Credit Card companies can do it every day, why can’t we? Oh, yea, because it’s government. Hey, anybody else for privatizing the election system? Anybody? They wouldn’t be capable of doing worse than Government, unless said Government insisted on controlling them and forbidding actual autonomy.
Well, so the voting systems were certified, and Luddites screamed. And then they were de-certified, and the counties screamed. They’d already spent all their election money and now they had to get totally new systems. And these aren’t just low population counties where the sheriff can go door to door and record all the votes on two hands and a foot. Santa Clara county, which contains nearly all of the South Bay of California, millions of people that need to vote. San Bernardino county, in the heart of Southern California and the Los Angeles basin.
The problem is that insufficient testing occurred, the roll out was too fast and there was insufficient attention given to recovering from, learning from, and preventing issues. There was not enough thought.
Hey, Electronic Voting sure sounds like a good idea. Let’s do it! Oh, wait, someone is claiming disenfranchisement.
What happens now? We spent all the money getting the new machines!
So what do we do now?
Elections are in February and we have to find and buy totally new systems, train volunteers and elections workers how to use them, print new ballots, etc?
And if you think that 6 months is plenty of time to accomplish this… This is California we’re talking about, and it’s Democrat-controlled legislature and government. Heh, this should be fun to watch.
1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.
2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
3.) A 3-year old Boy’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20×20 ft. room.
5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words “uh oh”, it’s already too late.
8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.
10.) Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year-old boy.
11.) ‘Play Dough’ and ‘microwave’ should not be used in the same sentence.
12.) Super Glue is forever.
13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
15.) VCRs do not eject peanut butter & jelly sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.
20.) The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.
21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.
23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.
25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.
I really could not resist posting this. I haven’t laughed this hard for a list in a long time.
Found on Manbottle.com – some of the humor on this site is rather off-color.