Saturday, February 21, 2015

Once Again, Surprise: Mediators' Call for Violence (Between Armenia and Azerbaijan) to Stop Is Ignored

Overshadowed by the fighting in Ukraine, another armed conflict in the former Soviet Union — between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh — has escalated with deadly ferocity in recent months, killing dozens of soldiers on each side and pushing the countries perilously close to open war.
In the New York Times, David M Herszenhorn writes that the
most recent clashes prompted an unusually pointed rebuke by international mediators who met on Monday in Krakow, Poland, with the Azerbaijani foreign minister, Elmar Mammadyarov.

“The rise in violence that began last year must stop,” the mediators, from France, Russia and the United States, said in a joint statement, adding, “We called on Azerbaijan to observe its commitments to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. We also called on Armenia to take all measures to reduce tensions.”

Instead, the violence has continued.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Accused of Being a Christian Right-Winger, Killer of 3 Muslims Turns Out to Be (Surprise!) an Anti-Theist on the Political Left

Immediately following the [Chapel Hill] murders, the internet buzzed with speculation that the victims—Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha—had been targeted because they were Muslims
writes Benny Huang.
Early assumptions were that [Craig Hicks] must have been a right-winger and a Christian, presumably because he’s white and from the “Bible Belt.” (Anyone who thinks Chapel Hill is part of the Bible Belt obviously hasn’t been there lately.)

Slowly the truth came out—Hicks, as it turns out, is on the political Left and a self-described “anti-theist” to boot. Whatever his beef with Islam may be, this acolyte of Richard Dawkins also harbors animus against all religions. His Facebook page sums up his attitude toward people of faith: “Of course I want religion to go away. I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out that it’s ignorant and dangerous as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people.” [Emphasis original.]
Noting that Craig Hicks seems to be affiliated with United Atheists of America and that the IB Times reports that his "Facebook Likes included the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye 'The Science Guy,' Neil deGrasse Tyson, 'Gay Marriage' groups and similar progressive pages", Eagle Rising's Tim Brown called the killer nothing less than a "disgusting atheist."
Craig Hicks’s wife, Karen Hicks, claimed that the victims’ religion was incidental to the crime, which she says actually arose from a long-standing parking dispute … It sounded as if Mrs. Hicks was desperately trying to obfuscate her husband’s true motive in order to shield him from accusations of bigotry, or worse, from federal hate crimes charges.

Yet other residents of the same apartment complex where the shooting took place confirm Karen Hicks’s version of events, saying that Mr. Hicks was absolutely obsessed with residents parking in their assigned spaces. A local towing company said that Hicks’s requests to tow unknown cars got to be so repetitive that they eventually refused to respond to his calls. He also had a reputation for being loud and aggressive. Residents reportedly held a meeting to discuss what to do about this troublesome man.
 … Unfortunately, under federal law, the killer’s motive makes all the difference in the world. We have a thing in this country called “hate crimes,” you see, which is an utterly insipid category that really shouldn’t exist. If Craig Hicks murdered three people because they were Muslims then he will face federal charges and, theoretically at least, a stiffer sentence. If he murdered them for some other reason, he won’t.

A harsher sentence may not even be possible in this case, as Hicks stands a chance of being sentenced to death. How do you top that? Yet hate crimes charges may still be filed because it’s not enough to demonstrate that Craig Hicks killed these people; the court still has to determine if he hated them while he was doing it. Such is the stupidity of hate crimes laws.

 … Nowhere in America is assault legal unless the victim happens to be unborn, though that’s another column entirely. It doesn’t matter if that person is black or white, a man or a woman, a libertarian, Unitarian, vegetarian, or Rotarian. Such laws don’t distinguish between people based on their race or their bedroom behavior. Nor should they.

But hate crimes laws do. They require jurors to peer into the mind of the assailant and determine if he was motivated by “hate.” Hating someone for parking in the wrong space doesn’t count. If he wasn’t motivated by “hate,” or if his hate was directed against groups that don’t appear on Eric Holder’s list of recognized victims, then the perp receives a lesser sentence and the feds don’t get involved.

That’s not justice.
Eagle Rising's Tim Brown adds that they
call it a "hate crime." Let me ask anyone, is there any other crime? Is there a crime that occurs out of love? Every crime that occurs against another person made in the image of God is a crime that is born of hate, period. True, it may have been because Hicks despised their dress and religion, but he also hated Christians too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Progressives? They Are Just Actors in a Make-Believe World

Brian Williams …  told one whopper of a tale after another for years to pump up his personal resume and give himself some "street creds" among progressives who think that Williams and his ilk are intelligent, savvy, and bearers of the TRUE WORD.
Outstanding commentary from the DiploMad (thanks to Instapundit):
As it turns out, ladies and gentlemen, he lied about saving puppies from a fire; about getting robbed by a gun-wielding mugger when Williams was a teen supposedly working for a charity on the "mean streets" of 1970s small-town New Jersey; about braving Hezbollah rockets in Israel; about watching bodies float down the Mississippi River during Katrina; about seeing a man jump to his death in a football stadium; and, of course, most famously, about flying on a chopper that got shot down in Iraq in 2003. Aside from proving a serial liar, he has become one of the most fawning, outright boot-licking fans and promoters of the disaster known as President Obama. He also has served as a regular on progressive TV shows, where he plays the part of the wise, humorous, Hemingway-esque man of the world. He is the man who has seen it all, and who can with a knowing smirk or wink put down and dismiss all the deluded right-wing nuts out there. In other words, he is a hero and a product of the Hollywood-University-Media complex which has done so much irreparable damage to our nation and Western civilization.

Williams joins the ranks of other progressive "journalists" such as,

Dan Rather, who tried to throw an American election by pushing a patently false story about George W. Bush;

Janet Cook, who concocted a much awarded narrative of an eight-year-old heroin addict;

Jayson Blair, who fabricated a number of much-commented on stories for the New York Times;

Sabrina Erdely of Rolling Stone who spread the UVA fake rape story;

and, of course, who could forget, The Lord of Them All, Commissar in Chief Walter Duranty, New York Times apologist extraordinaire for Joseph Stalin and his mass murders in Ukraine.

You certainly can name many others.

I never met Williams, but during my long career did have dealings with other prominent "anchors"--one of whom nearly ended my career--and found them boring and idiotic. They were just actors: make-up, lights, dramatic pose, and read lines written by young staffers from the "best" schools. There was no journalism as most of us would think of journalism. The British have it mostly right. They call persons such as Williams, "readers," because they read the news to you. In one way, however, American "anchors" are not like British "readers." In our benighted Republic, "anchors" are vastly better paid, revered, and allowed a great deal of say over what and how they will report. In the recent past, if Williams, Rather, or Jennings did not want to report on something, then it simply must not have happened.

That little world of the "anchor," however, took a major hit with the invention of the internet by Al "Is it Getting Warm?" Gore--another fabulist of distinction. We now have millions of little "anchors" who can fact-check, provide alternative explanations for events, and bring sunlight to otherwise forgotten happenings and issues. Dan Rather, let us not forget, got brought down by bloggers. The internet also has debunked Williams. Imagine, just imagine, if we had had the internet in the time of Duranty, or even when the Saintly Walter Cronkite declared that we were losing in Vietnam when, in fact, we were winning . . .

There is something in the progressive mind-set that promotes, nay, requires compulsive lying. We see it in John Kerry and his fake stories of secret missions in Cambodia and his flying dog; Hillary Clinton and her Bosnian snipers; Susan Rice and her video explanation for Benghazi; Eric Holder with Fast and Furious; and even FDR who famously said these words now engraved on his DC monument,
I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line—the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
In fact, of course, he saw none of these horrors. Those things tend not to happen in Hyde Park, New York.
The fundamental problem progressives such as Williams face is that the world is not as they would have it. Not at all. Many if not most of them have limited experience in the real world, having spent lives of wealth and privilege, sheltered in progressive educational institutions. They have very superficial knowledge of the world outside these bubbles, and rely, therefore, to a great deal on Hollywood. They incorporate into their personae the largely leftist rubbish pumped out by Hollywood.

In their world, the United States is still 1930's Alabama--or, better said, the Alabama of Hollywood. They want to unleash their inner Atticus Finch. In their world, murderers in the United States are middle aged white male business executives who kill black people instead of what happens in the real world where murderers are overwhelmingly young black men who generally kill black people. In their world, women can kung fu better and be bigger badasses than big burly guys, when, in fact, the opposite is true as shown by the progressives' contradictory and ceaseless calls for government to "protect" women from men. "I am woman! I am strong! Call the cops! Men are looking at me!" In progressive world, the KKK equals the Tea Party, when in the real world, the KKK served as the armed wing of the Democratic Party. In progressive world, Western civilization is the source for all the poverty and evil in the world, when, in fact, the concepts of liberty, justice, and human rights are Western constructs.

Your standard progressive activist has really done nothing very interesting, so he or she needs to get proper credentials, to show that he or she knows what's what, and that progressivism is what the world needs to deal with "problems"--after all, isn't life just a series of problems calling for progressive intervention? They want to see what they believe.

We, hence, have progressives making up the sort of stuff that puts them, the elite, in the center of the battle, on the ramparts, in the muddy trenches and downed helicopters with the common schlubs--the sort of worldly experience that allows progressives to tell us how to live our lives.

Telling lies is essential to progressivism.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What Is Net Neutrality? Essentially, It Is Obamacare for the Web

[An FCC Commissioner in person] is sounding the alarm about an attempted federal takeover of the internet
writes Benny Huang. Ajit Pai
recently received the Obama Administration’s 322-page plan for “net neutrality” and he finds it appalling. He’d like to share his specific objections with the +public but he can’t because the plan is under wraps until the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) votes on it.
Would you expect anything less from the most transparent administration in history? Secret plans to regulate the internet are circulated among the unelected members of a commission, who then make huge decisions with ramifications that will be felt around the globe, and we’re not allowed to know what they’re considering until the decision has been made. Par for the course.
 … Those of us who are … skeptical tend to see “net neutrality” as little more than a government takeover of the internet, something Washington has been itching to do for years. All they needed was an excuse and finally they’ve found it. Capitalizing on a popular and not necessarily unfounded distrust of corporations, the government will seize control of the freest, most egalitarian means of communication known to man…and strangle it with regulation. 
Surely, you wouldn’t want ISP’s to prioritize search results for a fee, would you? Just empower the government to protect you from this huge problem that you probably didn’t even know existed and you won’t have to worry.

Supporters of net neutrality are already complaining that dissenters are mere conspiracy theorists steeped in misinformation. Net neutrality isn’t a government seizure of the internet, they argue, it’s simply a set of rules that prohibits corporations from favoring users or content. Call me crazy, but I think that a policy like that could be expressed in a few sentences. Why then is the administration’s net neutrality policy 322 pages long? And why hasn’t it been released to the public?

 … Net neutrality is essentially Obamacare for the web—a government takeover, sold to the public as a means of protecting us from corporations, which is in fact supported by the corporations that are supposed to hate it, which will invariably give us a crappier product at a higher price.
The problem with the internet is that it’s just too liberated for our leviathan federal government to tolerate. People can say stuff on the internet without fear of censorship. They can buy and sell things without paying the tax man. They can organize political movements that the government would rather suffocate. In short, the World Wide Web (WWW) closely resembles the Wild Wild West, and that really scares the control freaks in Washington.

 … The beauty of the internet is that it’s an open space for the free exchange of goods, services, information, and most importantly, ideas. Whatever minimal degradation of that freedom that might result from your ISP providing preferential treatment to paying customers does not merit government intrusion. It’s a red herring anyway—the government doesn’t want to control the internet to protect you from Comcast, a corporation that is already abiding by the supposed principles of net neutrality on a voluntary basis. The government wants to control the internet because it’s in the business of control and it can’t stand to sit idly by while a domain of nearly limitless freedom is permitted to exist.