Saturday, September 30, 2006

We Are A Non-Violent, Peaceful Religion...

...and I'll kill you if you say otherwise.

PARIS, Sept 29, 2006 (AFP) - French anti-terrorism authorities Friday opened an inquiry into death threats against a philosophy teacher who has been forced into hiding over a newspaper column attacking Islam, legal officials said.

Robert Redeker, 52, is receiving round-the-clock police protection and changing addresses every two days, after publishing an article describing the Koran as a "book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as "a religion which... exalts violence and hate".

What? I can't believe it! He's being threatened by expressing his opinion of a religion of brotherly-love? Say it ain't so!

the Islamo-Fascists are doing splendid job of supporting his thesis.

Seriously, who's surprised by this. These murderers of men, women, and children have learned, time and time again, that threats and acts of violence work. Well, they work in Europe, mostly. But, I do notice that Redeker has not retracted his statement. Perhaps winds of change are going to sweep across the Continent. But I doubt it.

Interviewed over the telephone from a safe house by Europe 1 radio Friday, he said that "the education ministry has not even contacted me, has not deigned to get in touch to see if I need any help."

On Thursday Education Minister Gilles de Robien expressed "solidarity" with the teacher, but also warned that "a state employee must show prudence and moderation in all circumstances."

Redeker said that "if Robien is correct, then we would never have had any intellectual life in France. The function of politics is not tell us what we are allowed to think, but to defend our freedom to think and speak out."

Let me be the first to invite Redeker to the US. It sounds like he would fit right in. Whatever else, we all need more people like Redeker.
The more we, as a culture, stand up to this hateful death-cult, the less power they have. It will be painful, and at times violent, but capitulation is worse.

You know if Islam follows the same time line of growth and change that the Catholic church did, I'd say we should see a Martin Luther style reformer any time now. Of course, once he makes himself known he'll have his skull crushed by a rock wielded by one of those "peaceful" adherents of the faith.

Fox, Meet Henhouse

Ok, I am seriously creeped out by this.

Six-term Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned yesterday amid reports that he had sent sexually explicit Internet messages to at least one underage male former page.

Um, correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't he the co-chair of the anti-child abuse, anti child pronography committee, or something? You would think he would avoid IM sessions like this: (Maf54 is Foley, Xxxxxxx is a 16 yr old Congressional page).

Maf54 (7:37:27 PM): how my favorite young stud doing

Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:46 PM): tired and sore

Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:52 PM): i didnt no waltzing could make you sore

Maf54 (7:38:04 PM): from what

Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:34 PM): what do you mean from what

Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:42 PM): from waltzing…im sore from waltzing

Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): tahts good

Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): you need a massage

Oh then there's this little exchange:

Xxxxxxxxx (7:41:57 PM): ugh tomorrow i have the first day of lacrosse practice

Maf54 (7:42:27 PM): love to watch that

Maf54 (7:42:33 PM): those great legs running

It gets worse from there. It swerves into masturbation techniques and particular fetishes. I swear, I had to scrub my eyes out with steel wool after reading that.

Do these people have a special "stupid" chip installed when they're in Congress? Of course, the same can be said for the people who elect them. I mean, we have someone who has accepted bribes, a person who abandons someone in a sinking car, etc... and We. Keep. Electing. Them.

And people wonder why I refuse to declare myself Republican or Democrat.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Now Make It 20 Stories Tall

I've got to get one of these!

You know... in case a giant rubberized monster attacks Chicago.

1.2 Jigawatts!

This is one of the coolest pictures ever!

"I hit the button … and there was nothing. I hit the button again … and nothing. On about the fourth attempt I hit the button again and I saw this lightning and heard the thunder.

"It was like a crack. The next thing I was about two metres in the air - it scared the hell out of me."

I pretty sure that's not all it scared out of him...

Sometimes Life Just Sucks

Last night as I was heading home, I stopped in the Food Court of the the train station and spent the last bit of cash I had on me for a soda. Almost immediately after that, I was approached by a young man with a mousy looking woman in her late teens behind him. My sheilds went up and I was ready to repel all boarders.

Typically, the homeless are a bold lot in Chicago. They walk up to you and, practically violating you personal space, aggressively ask for money and/or cigarettes. Typically, they are wearing scowls and snarl the request out. Some times it's not even a request. It's a demand for money or smokes. I have absolutely no problem refusing these types of people. I thought I was going to have to do the dance again.

But I was wrong.

This man did ask for money. But he was very polite and used the word "sir". I regretfully, to my surprise, had to inform him that I had just bought this soda with the last of the cash I had on me. Then he surprised me.

I had expected him to give me a half perfunctory "thanks, anyway" while his eyes turned cold and calculating as he sized up the others in the Food Court. But it didn't play out as I expected. He said they really weren't looking for money. They just wanted something to eat and could I please buy them something... Anything. All the while the girl was looking on with half realized flicker of hope in her eyes. And misery. And above all, hunger.


Usually when I plan on just heading to work and then home, I bring what I call Wallet-Lite. Just my IDs, insurance cards (in case I get creamed by Chi-town's insane taxi drivers), and a credit card. I leave my check card and other credit cards at home. Today was one of those days. And to top it off, I forgot to swap credit cards -- the one in my wallet was maxed.

Last night I saw hope die in their eyes and despair settle like a well worn cloak over both of them. I am sure I was not the first person they approached for food. And still they were polite and thanked me for my time.

I don't think there are many times when I have felt as low as I did then.

I couldn't finish my dinner that night. Everything tasted like ashes as I could not get them out of my head. Children (because that's what they were - no older than 18 or 19) should not look so old and defeated.

I have been where those two are right now. I was maybe couple years older at the time, but not that different. Homeless, penniless, hungry, and without any hope or optimism for the future. Fortunately, I managed to claw my way out. It was hard work and very nearly broke me. But I did make it. And a lot of it was luck and the right circumstances. According to the odds, I should be dead right now.

I really hope those two manage to break out as I did. But I'm not holding my breath.

And it's a terrible thing indeed that I feel that way.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

They're Laughing.. *With* You...

From the Khaleej Times:

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana spoke on Thursday of “progress” in his talks with Iran’s main negotiator on a way out of the crisis over Teheran’s nuclear programme.

The discussions had begun in a secluded guest house near Berlin the previous day. Iranian envoy Ali Larijani, who spent several hours talking to Solana on Thursday, said all the topics had been discussed and there had been “some positive outcomes.”

Yeah, this time they waited until after Solana left the room before laughing uproariously.

Terrorists? Who Needs 'Em?

We do a fine job by ourselves.

Yesterday, while discussing the new rules a fellow Flyertalker suggested we write "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on the outside of our clear plastic quart bags. So I did just that.

Actually, that's pretty funny. It's funny because it's true.

He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to know "What is this supposed to mean?" "It could me[an] a lot of things, it happens to be an opinion on mine." "You can't write things like this" he said, "You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn't apply here?" "Out there (pointing pass the id checkers) not while in here (pointing down) was his response."

This is where the TSA officer is wrong. Unless I completely misunderstand, I thought the TSA was serving as an "actor of the state". In that case the First Amendment surely does apply.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mozart Would've Loved This Version

Well, it appears the Islamo-Fascists have won again.

The decision of a leading opera house in Germany to cancel a performance of Mozart's "Idomeneo" because of a scene depicting the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad was "crazy," the country's interior minister said Wednesday.

Fearing a violent backlash from the Muslim community, Kirsten Harms, director of Berlin's Deutsche Opera, said she decided to cancel the production after a warning from state security officials. She said she was "weighing artistic freedom and freedom of a theater ... against the question of security for people's lives."

This is exactly what these extremists want. The ability to dictate what is and is not acceptable in our own societies. Break out the burqas and stop shaving that facial hair.

They seem to be winning in Europe. So far the only ones who have had the balls to stand up to these thugs have been the Danes. Even the media in US has

All is not lost. It appears that some Germans have spines (probably most, just like in the US). There were many comments, but I think the German government's top cultural official, Bernd Neumann's was the most cognizant of the situation

"When the concern over possible protests leads to self-censorship, then the democratic culture of free speech becomes endangered."

As Kyle from South Park said in an episode ironically censored by Comedy Central: "Either it's all okay, or none of it is."

When we begin to selectively censor art, speech or the written word based on fear, or even worse, so-called cultural sensitivity, we move closer the tyranny the extremists want us all to live under. This is where Orwell's prediction --"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever" --becomes eerily prescient. These death-cult* extremists are the boot, and the Western world is willingly placing it's face on the ground.

* - I want to be absolutely clear on what I mean when I use the phrases death-cult and Islamo-Fascist. I am not referring to Islam as a whole, nor the huge majority who are moderates. What I am referring to are the followers of Wahhabism. I equate them with the so-called Christians who run around murdering doctors and bombing medical clinics all the while claiming to do so in the name of the same God whose tenets they are breaking. Different religion, same tactics. Both groups appear to be so insecure in their beliefs, they seek validation by fear and oppression.

The Religion of Peace

If you don't want Westerners to call Islam a cult of death and violence, then stop acting like insane, bloodthirsty savages.

It looks as if immigrants youths want to turn nightly rioting during the Islamic holy month of ramadan into an annual tradition. Around 8:30pm last night violence erupted again in Brussels, the capital of Europe. The riots centered on the Brussels Marollen quarter and the area near the Midi Train Station, where the international trains from London and Paris arrive. Youths threw stones at passing people and cars, windows of parked cars were smashed, bus shelters were demolished, cars were set ablaze, a youth club was arsoned and a shop was looted. Two molotov cocktails were thrown into St.Peter’s hospital, one of the main hospitals of central Brussels. The fire brigade was able to extinguish the fires at the hospital, but youths managed to steal the keys of the fire engine.

And they wonder why we hold them in contempt. Until the moderates of Islam can control the impact of the radicals, it will always be seen as a religion of violence and intolerance.

Hell, just denouncing these whack jobs would be a good start.

But what do I know?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Technology Tuesday

Ah, SCO, I knew thee well...

Looks like we're in the final stretch for this 3 and a half year lawsuit. I really don't know what SCO CEO McBride was smoking when he thought he could extort the Linux community for Intellectual Property licenses. But, in perhaps the dumbest move in corporate legal history, they decided to take on IBM; initially claiming Big Blue's contributions to the Linux kernel had lifted source code from "their" UNIX.

I think SCO (which had been struggling with falling revenues) was hoping that IBM would buy them out or settle rather than litigate. Nice going, Sun Tzu, now IBM's legal meat grinder has you square in the cross-hairs.

There have been some wild speculations regarding pump-and-dump schemes, shadowy financing, and of course the Open Source bogeyman, Microsoft, pulling SCOs strings like some demented puppeteer.

It now looks like things are coming to a close. Both sides are requesting summary judgement. IBM, because it feels it has a pretty airtight case. SCO, because... well, who the hell knows what those people are thinking. Actually, I think the lawyers for SCO are seeing there's no more money to milked and are moving to finish the case. SCO is done.

Well, not quite. They still have to deal with Novell and Red Hat.

Here's a summary of the whole SCO vs IBM

Monday, September 25, 2006


I just got done watching the pilot episode of Heroes on CBS (warning-- funky Flash site). It's certainly intriguing (so far), but I have seen many a series degenerate from a good pilot. I liked the fact that most of the principals are confused and frightened by their new powers. In fact one character sees it as a curse (and if I had his power, I would probably react the same way).

However, I couldn't help but feel I'd been here before...

Oh, yes. The Wild Card series from the early 90s edited by George RR Martin. Not sure if they're still in print (Amazon doesn't seem to think so), but I remember buying the first 6 books in this series when I was at U of Iowa. Go Turtle Boy! Although the Ace of Spades was my favorite --he was one bad mofo, in a Batman kind of way (if I'm recalling the characters correctly).

If your library or used book store has any of these, I recommend them --well, the first 6. I don't know if the quality suffered or not as some long running collaborative series do (Thieves' World, anyone?)

UPDATE: Well it looks like I'm not alone in liking* the pilot.
* - Although, it is disappointing to see that writer Tim Kring buys into that whole we only use 10% of our brain myth.

I'm a criminal?

A new high-tech brothel.

The end paragraph is pretty funny:

But Mary McPhail, secretary general of the European Women's Lobby, believes all those seeking to use prostitutes should be treated as criminals. She said: "If such a showcase of elite brothels [like Villa Tinto] did emerge it would be no more than a front for what most people experience, which is intimidation and violence. We believe it is a criminal activity for one person to seek to buy access to another's body through prostitution."

So... Dinner-and-a-movie dates are now a crime in her eyes. So are Valentine's Day gifts.

Guess I'll have to go Dutch.

Thank God for Checks and Balances

Read this -- long, I know... and it requires free registration - just use fake info like I do :)

I loved this part:

In what the Commission on Judicial Conduct called “a shocking abuse of judicial power,” Justice Roger C. Maclaughlin single-handedly went after a man he decided was violating local codes on the keeping of livestock in Steuben, near Utica. The justice interviewed witnesses, tipped off the code-enforcement officer, lobbied the town board to deny the man approval to run a trailer park, then jailed him for 10 days without bail — or even a chance to defend himself, the commission said.

In an interview, Justice Maclaughlin said the commission seemed to be chasing legal technicalities rather than real justice.

An Essex County town justice, Richard H. Rock, jailed two 16-year-olds overnight without a trial, saying he wanted “to teach them a lesson.” They had been accused of spitting at two other people and charged with harassment. Then he sent them back for 10 more days, the commission said, without ever advising them they had a right to a lawyer.

In 2001, the commission punished him and Justice Maclaughlin with censure, the most serious penalty short of removal from the bench. Justice Maclaughlin is now in his 11th year in office. Justice Rock is in his 10th.

Oh, no! Not... censure! A fate worse than... well, in this case it's worse than nothing, since that's the effect it seems to have.

New York (and the other 30 states that practice this) needs to abolish these so-called "justice courts" and establish a system that is acutally accountable. And pehaps make sure the judges (or justices or magistrates or whatever the hell these evolutionary throw-backs are called) actually have more than a passing familiarity with the law.

How about we move from the 13th century into the 21st?

Why is the UN still in NY?

Seriously. (Read this column by Mark Steyn)

I can understand the maxim "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" (The Prince, Machiavelli), but this is ridiculous. I'd say it was the Bizarro UN we were seeing last week, but this appears par for the course. Between the hate filled rhetoric of
Ahmadinejad and Chavez (and the reception both received) and the recent scandals plaguing the UN in recent years (Oil-for-Food, and the child prostitution rings run in Africa by UN peacekeepers) the UN has ceased being any type of authority on international relations. Lately, the UN has become an increasingly ineffectual, irrelevant institution which shrilly cries out any anti-US sentiment it can find.

Of course, looney Ted Turner (he of the North Korean vacation), had to weigh in on

"They're a sovereign state," he said. "We have 28,000. Why can't they have 10? We don't say anything about Israel -- they've got 100 of them approximately -- or India or Pakistan or Russia. And really, nobody should have them. They aren't usable by any sane person."

Okaay. I'll give you the "aren't usable by any sane person" part. But is Ahmadinejad particularly sane? Here's something I dug up Googling for information regarding the 12th Imam (referenced in Steyn's column). What I found was kind of chilling.

In a speech on November 16th, Ahmadinejad spoke of his belief in the return of the Twelfth Imam. One of the differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam is that the latter, who dominate Iran and form the majority in Iraq, believe that Allah shielded or hid Muhammad al-Mahdi as the Twelfth Imam until the end of time. Shi’ites expect the Twelfth Imam, which Jews and Christians would recognize as a messianic figure, to return to save the world when it had descended into chaos. Shi’ite orthodoxy has it that humans are powerless to encourage the Twelfth Imam to return. However, in Iran a group called the Hojjatieh believe that humans can stir up chaos to encourage him to return...

...Today, in addition to the possibility of Ahmadinejad himself being a member (or a former member), the group has connections to Qom ultraconservative cleric Mesbah Yazdi</a> whom Iranians frequently refer to as the "crazed one" and the "crocodile." Four of the twenty-one new cabinet ministers are purportedly Hojjatieh members. Some reports state that cabinet ministers must sign a formal pledge of support for the Twelfth Imam.

A sane man, indeed. Yet the UN not only let him address the General Assembly, they appeared to by-and-large approve of what he said (and we actually let him in the country!)

Iran's president was a huge hit at the U.N. Short of bringing out some burqa-clad Rockettes and doing a couple of choruses of "This Is the Dawning of the Age of a Scary Us," he couldn't have been a bigger smash. I said a year or two back, apropos the U.N., that it's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and blend it with a quart of dog poop the result will taste more like the latter than the former. And last week's performances at the General Assembly were a fine illustration of that. Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez were the star finalists of "UnAmerican Idol," and, just when you need Simon Cowell, the only Brit in sight was the oleaginous Mark Malloch Brown, Kofi Annan's deputy, fawning over every crazy in town. The rest of the bigwigs reacted like Paula Abdul, able to discern good points even in fellows who boast about not having any. That's the reality the Dershowitzes refuse to confront: that structurally the U.N. enables thugs to punch above their weight.

And then there's Loony Lite: half the crazy, none of the nukes. Mr. Chavez, the Napoleonic Chihuahua dog of Venezuela. He's the one who wants a revised constitution so he can in effect become tyrant-for-life. He claims the "people" should be free to elect the person they want as a leader as many times as they can. "People" being narrowly defined as the thugs and ballot-box stuffers on his payroll.
Chavez was an even bigger hit, in part because he eschewed the Holocaust denying, doesn't see himself as the warm-up act for the Twelfth Imam, and stuck closer to the American left's talking points: It's all the Bushitler's fault. He denounced Bush as an "imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal" and also "the devil," he held up a copy of some unreadable Noam Chomsky book, gave it a big plug and subsequently regretted that he couldn't meet with the late Professor Chomsky. Chomsky isn't late, he's alive and well. Granted, it's easy to get the impression he's been dead for 30 years, since he hasn't had a new idea since the early '70s.

(I love any writer who takes the time to make a gratuitous dig at Chomsky).

Chavez even demands that the UN be relocated to Venezuela. I am sure I would not be the first American to say "Don't let the door hit you on the ass".

The UN is poised to go the way of the League of Nations.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I'm speechless.

UPDATE: No, I'm not. I just can't understand how someone can do this. Well, I guess I can understand on an intellectual level. But it's still pretty repellant.

Cases like this make me want to ingnore the whole "cruel and unusual" aspect of punishment. I'm thinking wood chipper, feet first.