Saturday, February 18, 2006

I'm going on vacation...

And moving to a new city. Somehow I think the world will do just fine without me for a month. Or two.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm sooooo special...

The title of this post has nothing to do with the above pic... the pic is from a Danish site. It makes it pretty clear where the group of Imams that's been touring Lebanon and Egypt with the 15 cartoons of Mohammed got one of the so-called 'cartoons'. The Danish cartoons came to worldwide attention in part because of Ahmed Abu Laban, the religious director of the Muslim Society in Copenhagen. Steve Inskeep talked to Laban on NPR this morning. Laban stated that the three cartoons shown below were mailed to Danish muslims but refuses to allow the press to speak to the recipients. So many people have accused him of designing these three himself. During the NPR discussion he declined to take any responsibility for the rioting.

Oh yeah... I commented early and got quoted several times during this discussion on 'Hullabaloo'. I'm soooooo special.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Don't Ask Questions...

This is from firedoglake in Newport. God she's great! I've been wasting time leading mules to water. Yup. They still won't drink.

Free Speech vs. Hate Speech?

Lots of discussion at Daily Kos about whether the Saudi Arabia theory is reliable. Did the Saudis take a dead issue and turn it into cause celebre in the Muslim world? Did their state run media push the Danish caricatures as a means of changing the subject from the hundreds of pilgrims killed in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj? Or is this just blogosphere garbage? Lots of charge and counter-charge.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The 3 Fake Cartoons

First! This uses Wikipedia as a source, and Wikipedia can be altered by anybody. So it's not reliable for controversial issues. And is this ever controversial! To the left are 3 cartoons that have been shown throughout the Mid-East along with 9 other cartoons. A Muslim religious organisation in Denmark, Islamisk Trossamfund brought attention to the cartoons during a tour of the Middle-East, and has allegedly represented that Muslims in Denmark have been exposed to much more overtly offensive images.
But it appears that these three cartoons never were published and may have been commissioned by Islamisk Trossamfund and included to inflame Muslim opinion against Denmark and the west. The first depicts a dog humping a Muslim at worship, the second depicts Mohammed as a paedophile demon and the third depicts him as a pig. All three images are reprehensible -- especially if they are being used to incite violence.

101st Fighting Keyboardists Dishonor Dead

Thousands of bloggers cheerlead the Iraq war... and the ones cheering the loudest are invariably service-age guys who never served in the military. But they KNOW they would've been Airborne-Ranger-Green-Berets if they had. Like the president and vice president, they avoid service but treat the military as the solution to all problems diplomatic and political.

Iraq War cheerleaders coopt real heroes to try and lend themselves credibility. Bloggers like Pamela at 'Atlas Shrugs' pretend that Casey Sheehan and Pat Tillman are leaning down from heaven's balcony, cheering President 'Still-can't-find-anybody-who-served-in-'Bama-NG-with-me" Bush. Pamela has Pat Tillman's photo posted on her Wall of Heroes. He is a hero! But he's a hero who thought we should win hearts and minds and rejected Bush's credo of 'You're either with us or you're against us.' Here's what Pamela says about the NFL-star who became and Army Ranger: "The 27-year-old former football player was tragically killed in friendly fire in Afghanistan."

Here's what Tillman's parents say: "Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."

"After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," Patrick Tillman said. "They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."

The Army kept the soldiers who had been with Tillman quiet and told Tillman's family and the public that he was killed by enemy fire while storming a hill, barking orders to his fellow Rangers. After a public memorial service, at which Tillman received the Silver Star, the Army told Tillman's family what had really happened, that he had been killed by his own men.

Show some spine Pamela! Pat Tillman is a hero and your weasel words dishonor him! Don't cover up for the coverup of his death. Honor Tillman's parents' wishes. Put the facts out about the staff weenies who killed Tillman by dividing his unit for CYA reasons (the staff higherups wanted to say they had troops on the ground in a particular town -- but had no mission for those troops once they got there).

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rioting over Free Speech?

Thousands of outraged Syrian demonstrators stormed the Danish and Norwegian Embassies in Damascus, setting fire to both buildings. As thick black smoke rose into the air, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, who shouted, "Allah-u akbar," Arabic for "God is great!"

I know very few Muslims. I lived next door to an apartmentfull of male Syrian and Iraqi students in Leipzig -- but this was back in 1997 and they were all pretty secularized. While bitching about Western degeneracy and loose German values, they'd be throwing down cans of Pozeiden (the cheapest beer available at the corner market) and discussing how to pick up girls at the disco. (BTW, I was just as hypocritical as they were, I just didn't talk my trash quite as loudly).

But must flames and riot and boycott result from the disconnect between the western value of freedom of speech and the Islamic belief that the prophet Mohammed must not be portrayed in a picture? How did we come to this? I mean apart from the fact that right-wing bigots in the west and fundamentalist Islamic bigots in the Middle East benefit from the hatred and division and are encouraging it? Here's a great column that's appeared in Egypt and Lebanon explaining why the culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons in the first place and decrying the lack of understanding in Muslim world of western values and free speech. "What should have remained a local issue turned into a diplomatic uproar that Muslims otherwise rarely provoke when fighting for their rights around the world. Perhaps the Muslim governments who spearheaded the campaign - led by Egypt - felt this was an easy way to burnish their Islamic credentials at a time when domestic Islamists are stronger than they have been in many years..."

And here's a comment from a left-wing paper in Germany: "Muslims between Copenhagen, Riyadh and Gaza have showed us again what we already knew: They take our Nikes and Cokes but they don't accept our culture of fun which ironically mocks," wrote Die Tageszeitung. "And when an editor in chief and a prime minister apologize for the cartoons, it has become clear again that Westerns are all mollycoddled cowards kneeling down in front of the enemies of freedom."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Soccer in the mud...

On the good side... it hurts less when you fall down. On the bad side, you fall down a lot more. On the double bad side, kiss the shiny newness of that Tiffeny Milbrett jersey a muddy goodbye. But after 5 minutes of play and your first fall, you're warmed up AND muddy AND having a good time. Especially if you're playing with charged-up positive people like Renee! Renee organized this pickup game at Irving Park in NE Portland. Renee bounced around and infected everybody else with her enthusiasm. Renee jumped into the biggest puddle on the field with both feet to prove to the rest of us we were cowards for dribbling around it instead of through it... and splashed herself and everybody within 10 feet when she discovered it was 6" deeper than it looked! I wish they could put some of whatever it is she has in the Portland water system! The only downside is... three days later, yesterday, was the first day I walked without pain after 3 hours of sprinting and making sharp cuts in cleats. Keeping up with the 20-somethings hurts!

Spin, spin, spin...

Sometimes it's pretty amazing the way the lefties and wingnuts talk past one another.

For example, lots of anti-government wingers and libertarians are screaming and complaining about censorship in Denmark. The Danish government apologized to Muslims who were offended (and boycotting Danish products) by a Danish political cartoon showing the prophet Mohammed in a turban shaped like a sputtering bomb. But these same wingnuts applaud and cheer the arrest of Cindy Sheehan at the State Of The Union speech. Cindy wore a t-shirt asking why 2,245 Americans had to die in Iraq. A wife of a GOP congressman was removed from the hall -- but not arrested -- for wearing a pro-war t-shirt within sight of the cameras focused on the president.

Few lefties are screaming about the retreat from free speech in Denmark, but many of them are outraged at General Peter Pace and the Joint Chiefs of Staff letter to the Washington Post. Pace claimed that a Tom Toles cartoon in the post dishonored wounded soldiers. It showed a limbless soldier being diagnosed by "Dr. Rumsfeld". Rummy says, "I'm listing your condition as 'battle hardened.'" I don't see anything derogatory to wounded soldiers in the cartoon. To Rummy, sure. But the Pentagon doesn't like anybody to photograph wounded or dead American soldiers, so I suppose it's just as bad to draw them.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Relationship advice...

Rule #1: Don't give it. Just don't. Friend wants to start long-distance relationship while he's in the middle of eating a 7-Course-Dinner-O-Stress: job hunting, ending an old relationship, jonesing for his daily workout which he can't do because he's reaggravated a case of tendonitis, trying to juggle a couple of fibs he's already told this girl about his employment status... So he asks me, "What..." Well, you know what he asks me.

And I didn't say anything. Ok, ok... I babbled. But I put it all in terms of, "This isn't advice, I'm just tightly wound and would be so stressed out by being unemployed that I couldn't make a long distance relationship work so I wouldn't dream of starting a relationship with a girl I cared about until I had cleared my plate of stressors. But this isn't advice, so don't listen."

I guess I screwed up. Oh well. When he goes to bed with her and a week later they aren't talking, he'll be pissed at me. So what? He's a guy. He'll get over it.

New Rule #1: Don't give relationship advice to your female friends.

WWARD? Wave the Red Banner high!

The SOTU was sooooo good! The president made many promises that he's already backtracking on. His aides have already clarifed that "America is addicted to oil" and his brave call for cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, wasn't meant to be taken as a literal truth but rather as an 'emotional truth', a la James Fray. The emotional truth, what the president really meant, they said was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

As for the rest of what he said -- well, the president promised a few years back to double the Americorps budget and that got cut in half 6 months later. He promised to take us to Mars last year! Yup. And everysingleblessedoneofus is going to get a pony, too!

For coverage of this year's SOTU, go to Atlas Shrugged and listen to what America's Self-Promoting Randian Superfungrrrrl has to say! From her blog (the part about Cindy Sheehan, BTW, is in 36 pnt RED, italics are my comments):

State of the Union Rocks the World
Liveblogging SOTU:

Before the SOTU kicks off, Cindy Sheehan is removed frm chambers in handcuffs attempting to unfurl a ginormous banner. WHAT A MAROON!

Randian Superfungrrrrls are soldiers, wielding sharp pens instead of swords!

Pages and pages and pages of praise for the president. Then her comments section. Kudos to Pamela, unlike most other right wingers, she has a comments section and doesn't edit out everything she disagrees with in it:

I read your post Pamela. And now that we know it's false you should stop using the item of Sheehan and her nonexistent banner as a headline. In red no less. I understand what live blogging is. I also understand what telling the truth means.
Posted by: ArthurStone | Wednesday, February 01, 2006 at 04:55 PM

I vote that you keep the reference to the banner in red with the adjacent update. It’s worth it to annoy Arthur.
Posted by: MarcH | Wednesday, February 01, 2006 at 07:21 PM

I put my two cents in to agree with MarcH... but for different reasons.

I also vote that Pamela shouldn't bother to correct her red banner. Fly the red banner high, Pamster! Nobody expects you to be correct about anything anyway.
"Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after an incident involving a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday.

"We screwed up," a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws. Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq, was not the only one ejected from the House gallery. The wife of a powerful Republican congressman was also asked to leave, but she was not arrested. Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida -- chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee -- was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops -- Defending Our Freedom."

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. I can't type any more. I'm losing control of my bowels laughing. Muhahahahahha!

WWARD? What Would Ayn Rand Do? Never admit she was wrong and certainly never go back and correct her mistakes! Onward, wave the Red Banner High! In the finest tradition of Rand, Plato's Republic and Stalin, muzzle and imprison those who disagree with us!