Patterico's Pontifications

8/30/2014

College Football !!!!

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:26 pm

[guest post by JD]

Some of the big boys didn’t look that great today, ie Alabama and UCLA. There were a few great match-ups in Week 1 – Georgia put a hurting on Clemson, Florida State was taken to the wire by Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin is man-handling LSU.

I love football season.

—JD

Why Is It So Hard To Take A Stand?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In an interesting op-ed, Yasmine Bahrani, a professor of journalism at American University in Dubai, boldly asks: Where are the Muslims protesting the Islamic State? And although there is disagreement to be found, Bahrani does provoke a consideration of the matter.

While Bahrani establishes that she supported recent protests against Israel, she is at a loss to explain the absence of Muslim protests condemning ISIS for their treatment of Yazidis, Christians – and even Muslims.

This is not the first time this question has occurred to me. For years, I have wondered about this absence of public outrage. When I asked about the murder of Iraqi civilians by Sunni and Shiite gangs, my fellow Muslims dodged my questions: “Why did the United States invade Iraq in the first place?” Yes, the U.S. invasion was a mistake. But why is it so hard to take a stand against the killing of women and children? I never got a straight answer.

While noting a few non-Western clerics have spoken out against ISIS, Bahrani points the finger back at Muslims everywhere:

Don’t Muslims have a responsibility to speak out more loudly than others? We need the world to see anti-Islamic State marchers taking to the streets with the passion that we saw at the Gaza rallies in London and Paris. Mainstream Muslims must express our rejection of extremism in clear terms, while doing whatever we can to stop young people from radicalizing.

The common refrain is: “That’s not Islam.” Of course it isn’t. Muslims know that, but we need to understand that others do not. And here’s the problem: To much of the world, the Islamic State, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and other such groups do represent the Muslim community. Today, say the word “Islam” and few think of the glories of our history and culture. Rather, they picture masked men with knives. And as long as our condemnations remain tepid, we give the impression that we accept the crimes of murderers whose savvy YouTube productions reach far and wide. Like it or not, the Islamic State is winning the public relations war.

Sadly, mainstream Muslims have no choice but to come to terms with the fact that groups of people are car-bombing, shooting, starving, kidnapping and beheading people in the name of Islam — not to mention blowing up churches and mosques. Where is the anger? Is it possible that the marches in support of Palestinians are well-attended because Muslims hate Israel more than we hate criminal gangs who have hijacked the narrative of our religion?

Of course it’s possible and perhaps even likely. Other than unadulterated fear, how else to explain the lack of thousands of outraged Muslims marching en masse through the streets of Europe and the U.S. expressing the same level of condemnation toward ISIS as they did with Israel? Surely what ISIS is doing can’t be considered less horrible than what protestors believed Israel to be doing. If so, how foolish, because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that ISIS has absolutely no qualms about which group of people they slaughter – including Muslims.

If this was only about hijacking a narrative, it would be one thing, but when that hijacking manifests itself in the mass beheadings, executions, murders and torture of men, women and children from various ethnic and religious groups, along with terminating the lives of any not swearing allegiance, it’s a far more grievous matter than just a PR calamity. Is the priority taking back a religion or condemning this new threat of barbaric inhumanity?

With the world’s considerable Muslim population, an enormous collective display of public outrage and condemnation of ISIS certainly could manifest itself in the streets – as witnessed with Israel.

In perusing hundreds of comments at her post, I did not see anyone who claimed to be a Muslim, actually answer Bahrani’s question.

(On a side note, Bahrani misses or ignores the salient point that it always has been, and likely always will be easy and without risk to condemn Israel from any place in the world.)

–Dana

Remaining True To Their Convictions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

In an update regarding the Christian couple ordered to pay $13,000 in fines for refusing to host a gay wedding on their farm and posted about here, we learn that Cynthia and Robert Gifford have now chosen to close their business rather than violate their beliefs. They will host the weddings already scheduled, and then close the business. According to Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor:

”Since the order essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions, even though it will likely hurt their business in the short run,” he said.

–Dana

8/29/2014

Friday Night Music: The Voice Is In This Guy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

Few things are better than Justin Hayward playing a great song with nothing but an acoustic guitar:

Bonus:

Interesting Reading

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:04 pm

[guest post by JD]

Charles Cook writes about the “we can’t wait” clause in the Constitution. Suffice it to say that Obama’s view of his role in our political system is at odds with our Constitution.

One of the more interesting writers around, David Harsanyi, pens this missive that outlines Obama lawlessness and Dem hypocrisy.

After a couple thought provoking pieces, I leave you with this drivel, a steaming pile of cow dung, so self-unaware it could only have been written with crayon by an Obama sycophant. As this writer points out, the conversation on racism isn’t real, because they have no desire to have a conversation outside of calling those that disagree with them racists. Its a thing.

Oh, did you know the world has always been messy, we just know more about it quicker because of social media? Or that ISIS is like the JV squad? Or that we don’t have a strategy for dealing with ISIS?

—JD

Ft. Hood Shooter’s Unsurprising Request

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Unsurprisingly, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan wants to join the caliphate. In a letter, he appeals to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi:

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State,”Hasan says in the handwritten document addressed to “Ameer, Mujahid Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”

As a reminder, Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 at Fort Hood in 2009 in what the government, in a display of cowardice, disgracefully called “workplace violence”.

–Dana

National Debt Has Almost Doubled Since Financial Crisis

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Coincidentally, that’s also mostly the time that Obama has been in office:

The federal debt this year will be double what it was before the financial crisis, Congress’ official budget scorekeeper projected Wednesday morning.

The debt is on pace to reach 74 percent of the country’s economic output by the end of the year, double what it was in 2007 and the highest percentage since 1950, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Remember: Bush’s ill-advised bailouts have been largely repaid. They were a bad idea not because of the loss of money to the Treasury but because of the moral hazard they created: an incentive for banks to take unsustainable risks into the foreseeable future with no fear of real adverse consequences.

The doubling of the debt is mostly due to Obama’s explosion in spending, starting with the disastrous Keynesian stimulus, and then using that budget as a baseline for future budgets.

In four years, Obama ran up almost $5 trillion in debt — an amount it took the spendthrift Bush eight years to amass, and he’s not done. Things that can’t go on forever, won’t.

Just another reminder that we are headed for disaster. And we don’t have a strategy for dealing with it. Happy Friday!

8/28/2014

SWATting on Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

Here’s an interview with a gamer who was SWATted:

His job is playing video games? OK.

Putting that to one side, I feel your pain, buddy. Here’s what makes this especially interesting: he was streaming his game when it happened. So you can watch the cops burst in.

Here’s the video. Fast forward to about 6:30:

Thanks to B.W.

“We Don’t Have A Strategy Yet”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The president admitted to the world today that we don’t have a strategy yet to fight ISIL.

“My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back and that Iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself,” Obama told reporters in the White House briefing room.

The president promised to consult lawmakers on the strategy, “in part because it may cost some money,” and Congress holds the federal purse strings. But he repeatedly declined to commit to seeking a vote authorizing expanded military action in either Iraq or Syria.

“I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in,” he said. “But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Here is video:

Spokesliar Josh Earnest tries to explain it away by lying:

Earnest quickly scheduled an appearance on CNN during which he argued Obama was simply referencing the U.S. options against the Islamic State in Syria — not in Iraq.

The president [was] asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue when it came to possible military action in Syria against ISIL. That was the specific question he was asked and the president was explicit that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the Pentagon for military options he has for going into Syria,” Earnest said.

But Spokesliar Josh Earnest lies badly. Here is the transcript of the question and answer:

QUESTION: Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?

OBAMA: You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in and we’re — that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.

But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.

Yeah, Spokesliar Josh Earnest, the specific question he was asked was: “Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?” If you’re going to lie, lie better than that.

Meet the Man Who Has Nothing to Hide (But Not Really)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf writes about a man who supposedly has nothing to hide:

When someone debating privacy says, “but I don’t have anything to hide,” I am immediately suspicious. “Would you prove it by giving me access to your email accounts,” I’ve taken to replying, “along with your credit card statements and bank records?” Not a single person has ever taken me up on that challenge–until now.

Arizona resident Noah Dyer emailed me about an anti-privacy project he is promoting. I replied in my usual way. And to my surprise, he sent all his passwords.

“I have given you the things you’ve asked for, and have done so unconditionally,” he wrote. “I’ve given you the power to impersonate me. I request that you do not take advantage of me in this way, though I have obviously not made that desire a precondition to sharing the info with you. Additionally, while you may paint whatever picture of me you are inclined to based on the data and our conversations, I would ask you to exercise restraint in embarrassing others whose lives have crossed my path … Again, I have not made your agreement to that request a condition of sharing the data. I don’t think I have enough money that you would bother to take it or spend it. Look forward to talking more and seeing the article!”

“Wow,” I thought. “How reckless to give this access to a complete stranger!” Then I logged in to his email.

It’s an interesting piece with an interesting premise. Dyer turns out to be a self-promoting narcissist who got a divorce because he decided it was important to be able to sleep around — including, apparently, with several married women. He gave Friedersdorf complete access to all his passwords, which means he unilaterally decided that there would be no privacy, not just for him, but for anyone else who had ever entrusted him with anything private.

Although Friedersdorf repeatedly claims that Dyer has “nothing to hide,” he clearly does — because, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to want to give his bank and email passwords to the world . . . just to Friedersdorf. Dyer is active in comments to the article and I have asked him to post his passwords publicly. So far he has not, and I don’t expect that he will. (Nor should he.)

As best as I can tell, Dyer defends this by explaining that in his utopia, nobody would have any privacy, so if you stole something, everyone would know. In our imperfect world, however, he has to behave differently. Of course, in my utopia, self-promoting narcissists would not exist, so there would be no Noah Dyer to begin with. (Utopia, I’ll remind the reader, means “nowhere.”)

Dyer is trying to fund some Kickstarter campaign:

[I]f his ambitious Kickstarter, “A Year Without Privacy,” is funded, “I will walk my talk. You will see every minute of my life for a year. You will see every email, every text, every Facebook message and any other communication that I receive. You will see my bank account transaction and balances. You will see everything I eat and all the exercise I do … If I do have sex, it will be documented as a matter of fact, not with any specific intention to arouse or otherwise manipulate the viewer.”

Ladies, the line to have sex with this guy on camera for the whole world to see starts right over there!

I doubt he will be giving out his passwords to the entire world, though. Because the guy with nothing to hide, as it turns out, still does have plenty to hide — at least in the real world.

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