You know . . . there are a lot of ignorant religious fanatics in this world. Our country has its share, but Islam . . . well, the mullahs and their Western allies have been doing what they can to maintain power and obtain cheap oil by keeping their people ignorant.
And, in the Western cultures . . . we spend our time writing a lot of silly things, and drawing silly things, and we have a hard time getting anyone to take us seriously.
So, when some Danish paper publishes a set of dumb cartoons, and contends with death threats, and now a bunch of fools threatening to boycott Danish products, well, I feel like I want to do some small thing. (more…)
I wrote a letter to Yahoo! today. I am curious what answer I will get:
I live in the Bay Area. I have friends who work At Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. I am a big Google fan, but I am also all about Flickr!. I purchased an account even before Yahoo! bought them and have since written a Flickr plugin. I have followed the recent controversey over google.cn’s launch, and I have come to the conclusion that Google is doing the right thing:
- They will openly censor searches in accordance with Chinese law.
- They will not offer services that would put them in a position to compromise privacy: mail, blogs.
I have heard press reports that Yahoo! and MSN have cooperated with the Chinese government to reveal the identity of Chinese Bloggers, and have them arrested. This is wrong. And as a user, as someone who pays Yahoo! … I want to know, what are you guys doing about free speech in China? Wouldn’t you agree that disengagement in business activity that leaves you involved in arresting people is the way to go? What is Yahoo! going to do?
Do I need to stop using Flickr if I want to feel good about using the Internet? Do I need to encourage others to boycott Yahoo!, as consumers once boycotted companies engaged in human rights violations in South Africa?
Thank you for your time.
Perhaps, you too, should contact Yahoo!, or perhaps Microsoft, to express your concerns. I will post any reply I receive here.
The West’s current struggle with a murderous global Sunni Muslim insurgency and the threat of a nuclear-armed theocracy in Iran makes it clear that it’s no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world. The hard work of rooting those things out will have to be done by honest Muslim leaders and intellectuals willing to retrace their tradition’s steps and do the intellectual heavy lifting that participation in the modern world requires. They won’t be helped, however, if Western governments continue to pander to Islamic sensitivity while looking away from violent Islamic intolerance. They won’t be helped by European diplomats and officials who continue to ignore the officially sanctioned hate regularly directed at Jews by the Mideast’s government-controlled media, while commiserating with Muslims offended by a few cartoons in the West’s free news media.
“Drawn Into a Religious Conflict”
L. A. Times, February 4, 2006
As seen on the streets of London, by virgorama, who has generously shared via the Creative Commons License:
This is why those cartoons need to be published. British Muslims, calling for blood, threatening terrorism. (more…)
I was once asked by an Algerian, “why does George Bush hate Arab people?”
I did my best to explain . . . George Bush doesn’t hate Arab people, but after 9/11, he sees militarism as a way to gain support from the American people.
Of course, any perceived insult to Islam is a tool to control Muslim people. Muslims are now killing each other over cartoons published in a Danish newspaper. The BBC reports:
Demonstrators shouted “death to Denmark” and “death to France”. They called for the expulsion of diplomats and soldiers, who were sent by both countries as part of international efforts in the US-led “war on terror”.
“They want to test our feelings,” protester Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra told the BBC.
“They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers,” he said.
On NPR this morning, “Morning Edition” explained it something like this:
“Muslims attacked Danish embassies to protest a Danish cartoon depicting Muslims as violent people.”
But . . . what really annoys me, is that Muslims will protest cartoons that, maybe they haven’t even seen–they are not even easy to find in the Western media–which is why I posted them here . . . they are doing what they are programmed, so easily manipulated to do, by their governments, and by their media. Where are the protests when their own media routinely publish cartoons of this moral caliber? (more…)
(Well, hopefully last word . . .)
There’s some good discussion taking place over on Flickr. I like to think I’ve summed up my thoughts as well as I am going to, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannyman/94765982/?#comment25268804:
I really value the discussion here. I think the correct answer is “Yes, these cartoons are offensive to a fair number of people, and it is rude to publish them.”
The reason I am violating this ethic is because I feel that there is a serious problem in the Muslim response. People are overreacting, hysterical … it points to a real problem with many followers of Islam.
I am an Atheist. My religious beliefs call for respect for everyone, but I know that we often fall short of these ideals. Among the greatest disrespect you can give to someone is to claim that their words are worthy of death. Death threats? No, words that bring about death threats must be repeated. The speech that brings about death threats needs to be louder than the death threats.
If Muslims–and many do–complain about these cartoons in a polite fashion, that’s all the more reason to withdraw the cartoons, apologise, and leave this issue behind us. Unfortunately, the radicals are getting all the press, and I for one am completely sick of it. Let us publish these cartoons far and wide until they would have to kill everyone! Let their hysteria grow ever louder, until the majority of people, who do have at least a basic intelligence, ask themselves “wait, we’re going to war … over cartoons?”
The cure for darkness is light. If the wackos want to scream and yell, I’ll scream and yell back. I think that ultimately, this helps illuminate the pettiness of religious zealots that have enslaved the lives of so many Muslims.
It may have started as an issue as to whether it is proper to publish a cartoon. Some of these cartoons, yes, they should not have been published. But now it is an issue as to whether Muslim faith is stronger than an offensive cartoon in a remote, non-Muslim country, or whether Islam is just a bunch of screaming, hysterical cry-babies who issue fatwas, threaten beheadings, and use the sligtest excuse to resort to violence, because that is not religious faith. It is evil, and evil has no place in my world.
“There’s two kinds of vendors in this world, my friend. There are those that, when I ask for a quote, send me an Excel spreadsheet, and those that are likely to get my business.”
It is more complicated than that, but:
- If I check “I prefer to be contacted by e-mail” on the form, don’t call me.
- If I have already filled out my company’s name, you are not allowed to mis-spell it.
- If you are a Data Center company named “Colo(Whatever)” then don’t send me a quote for “collocation” services. Paper documents are collated, servers are co-located.
- If I ask for 1 unit of bandwidth, don’t raise your price by sneaking in a second unit of bandwidth.
- Dude, who offers Data Center tours twice a week?
- SysAdmins don’t always have ready access to Microsoft Excel, and Word documents can break when you e-mail them to a customer running a different version. Nobody wants to pay “Err: 5” for services. Text or PDF or death!!
By the way, I need to hire a SysAdmin . . .
I can’t take it any more, this spam cracks me up:
From: “Angel Leblanc”
X-Mailer: The Bat! (v188.8.131.52) CD5BF9353B3B7091
Subject: Former President Bill Klinton uses Voagra! [#14227]
Everybody knows the great sexual scandal known as “Klinton-Levinsky”.
After the relations like this Klintons popularity raised a lot!
It is a natural phenomenon, because Bill as a real man in order not to shame himself when he was with Monica regularly used Voagra.
What happened you see. His political figure became more bright and more attractive.
It is very important for a man to be respected as a man!
President Kleenton demands Voagra!!
We are moving! Starting in March, we’ll have nicer digs at the same price we are paying now. The move was inspired by an effort on the part of our current landlord to raise the rent, despite their stunning mediocrity. One of the few advantages the current place has is a hot tub, but as we visited it yesterday, we were soothed by the fact that the hot tub is merely a warmish tub. When we moved in last year it was hot and half the jets worked. Now it is merely warm, and only two of the jets work. And the construction noise next door is ramping up. The new place is a condo sublet, which a nice old guy wants to keep occupied by nice tenants until he is ready to sell it in a few years. Two levels, lots of closet space, a big ol’ kitchen, 1.5 baths, a fireplace!
So, yeah, we are totally looking forward to our new digs. This morning we found a “goodbye” gift in front of our door, of a half-drunken bottle of Miller Lite. Our neighbor down the hall got an even bigger surprise, as someone vomited a spaghetti dinner all over his newspaper. You’d think we were back on Walton!
Also, I am super big in Turkey! I have been getting a lot of heartfelt comments letting me know that Allah, who is great, is watching me . . . and that good Muslims will have sex with Danish cartoonists. It is all very exciting. The best part is that the Turks, in addition to leaving nice comments, also click on my ads. So, my AdSense revenue is up a good deal this month! I think that these Mohammed cartoons will eventually buy me a sandwich, so while I don’t really approve of disrespecting anyone’s religion, I gotta admit–blasphemy pays!
This might be a neat time to demonstrate the niftiness of Google Analytics. Here is a pie chart of traffic on this web site for the past week, showing us that, this week, at least, my audience in Turkey is larger than my audience in the United States:
Man, I’m not going to poop on the Olympics. I mean, as an American, especially one without TV, its not like I even pay attention. But someone on the radio recently explained something that has always subconsciously bugged me about the Winter Olympics.
He said that the Summer Games are the real Olympics, because sports like running are something that people throughout the world can compete in. The Winter Olympics self-select for those who have access to Winter, or, more likely, those who have access to copius amounts of air conditioning. I mean, Michelle Kwan, who thoroughly rocks . . . she’s from L.A. She lives in a desert! And, her parents would drive her, in a car, which most people don’t have, to an ice rink, which most people don’t have, and she competes in the “sport” of ice skating, which, however gratifying to watch, is more of an “artistic physical endeavor” than a “sport” . . .
And ice skating is more democratic than stuff like skiing, which is an activity pretty much reserved for the upper middle class of developed Northern countries. I . . . well, I have just enough flatlander proleteriat pinko in me that I have always avoided opportunities to finally go skiing. Not like I’m about to storm the ski slopes and burn down the cabins or whatever, it is just that the whole thing is ever so slightly too bourgeois for my blood. (And I am an upper-income culture snob who doesn’t own a TV.)
. . . the summer Olympics, these are the ones where the barefoot Africans show up from impoverished countries you have never heard of to take home Gold Medals, because however poor their backgrounds, there is no denying that they can run fast. We have high-precision clocks that say so.
All the same, I’ll give the Winter Olympics its due . . . a lot of people from a lot of countries get together to compete, in the Olympic spirit. And since they staggered the Winter games into the years between the summer games, it is kind of a nice “side show” to tide the fans over ’til the next every-fourth-year event.
As seen in the BBC:
In response to the row, popular Hamshahri newspaper in Iran launches a contest for cartoons of the Holocaust
And I was thinking, “this is about the only time that launching a cartoon contest about the Holocaust would be even remotely the right answer.” After all, it is always the Jews who pay the price for European anti-semitism. (That is a joke, you see, since “semitic” applies to all Middle Eastern cultures, even though it usually means “Jew.”)
But I wonder if the Muslim world will get it, when Jews across the world somehow fail to attack Iranian embassies or trample each other in the rush to condemn Iran and burn flags. Has the Iranian government closed the offending newspaper?
And, it is not like Iran needs an excuse to make anti-Jewish cartoons. The Egyptian Sandmonkey does a good job of explaining, from a Muslim point of view, why this business is ridiculous.
On the other hand, in a display of solidarity with ignorant Muslims, there are reports from Denmark that some ignorant Danes have defaced some Muslim graves. Let the healing begin!
Also, I really wish the Lego company would offer this Danish product for sale. Soon! But I suppose I’ll content myself with some butter cookies . . .
Dear The Media,
Just as it was supposed to me none of our business when Bill Clinton got a blowjob, Dick Cheney is under no obligation to issue a press release when he shoots someone in the face.
Knock it off!
Oh, and you know what’s cool? Some Israeli is holding a Holocaust Cartoon contest open only to Jews, on the theory that Jews can beat the pants off Iranians at lampooning themselves. You know we’ll be in good shape when the Iranians sponsor some sort of Nakba Cartoon Contest.
In unrelated news, I got toldme.com hooked up with the Gmail “hosted domain” beta. I am kind of enjoying Gmail if for no other reason than it helps blow my mind, and that watery organ needs to keep limber.
As reported in the AP:
CHICAGO – The nationwide rush to go wireless appears poised to extend to its biggest city yet. Chicago is launching an effort to offer wireless broadband, city officials said Friday, jumping on the Wi-Fi bandwagon as similar initiatives proceed in Philadelphia, San Francisco and smaller cities.
Well, that is the coolest news about my home town that I have read in a while. Municipal WiFi? In the yuppie neighborhoods and in the ghetto? Speedy Internet for all the schoolchildren and the tourists? Amen to that!
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, we awoke yesterday to find snow on the ground . . . in California! Well, sure it was up on Mount Diablo, and it had been rained away by the afternoon, but it merited a celebratory call home to Mom in Chicago, where there is no snow at the moment, but there is certainly cold.
And next year . . . wireless!
Well, I ordinarily would not say a thing.
But I went and antagonized the Muslims for being a bunch of hysterical idiots.
And I’m an American.
Dear Democrats and Republicans:
Knock it off with the political opportunism. The company is transferring ownership from U.K. to Emirates, and while there were two U.A.E. citizens involved in 9/11, there were more U.K. citizens involved in London. Port Security is your responsibility, and your standards for security had better add up to a lot more than “well, we don’t let no towelhaids run our ports, we only hire Uhmericans and other upstanding whiteys. And some darkies too. Well, and some Messicans. But no towelhaids, dammit!”
Timothy McVeigh was a white man. I think he killed more Americans-per-Terrorist than 9/11. It don’t matter who owns the parent company, as long as they pass security checks and whatnot, assuming those security checks are something more sophisticated than “we don’t like them A-rabs.”
Bloody Americans. I so hate agreeing with the President, but I got to give him credit on this one.
Wow. I was so lazy this weekend . . . sleeping in, napping, not doing nothing, eating out . . . last night? We went out and I ate meatloaf! How sloth is that?
I did pack a dozen boxes full of books, though. Yay me. But the laundry is left for this evening.
Anyway, this weekend was so fantastically lazy that when my stuff started going ringy ding this morning during the 0600+ I was actually kind of glad to get my ass outta bed and have stuff to do.
And there are things to do, oh yes . . . but I gotta keep my priorities straight and blah blah blah on the blog first.
Happy Monday, all!
. . .