Patterico's Pontifications

5/14/2010

“Due to Security Reasons, We Will Stop”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:51 pm

Lars Vilks is a cartoonist who drew Mohammed as a dog. This sort of thing really upsets the radical Islamists — to the point where there was a plot to murder him. Therefore, let us look at the cartoon, to see what offended them so:

Mohammed as Dog

You may have read that Vilks was recently attacked while giving a university lecture with an admittedly provocative film that, as Ace explains, “juxtaposed pictures of Mohammad (?) and praying Muslims with gay fetish shots.” Being a tolerant community committed to free speech, the university shut down the lecture and told him never to return. Today, Hot Air links the full video of the incident:

Allahpundit provides the commentary:

Don’t skip it. Force yourself through it, because it happens to be one of the most genuinely depressing clips ever posted on Hot Air. Everything about this is an utter, unmitigated disgrace — the attack on Vilks, the excruciating passivity of most of the crowd, the sheer thuggery of these shrieking, lunatic, barbarian bastards, and of course the killer moment at around 8:45 when they win.

And when they win, the announcer says the words that form the post title: “Due to Security Reasons, We Will Stop.”

I won’t.

Mohammed Cartoons

As Mark Goldblatt, quoted by Allah, says:

Since 2001, many Americans have asked how they can contribute in a direct way to the war against totalitarian Islam. Now we have an answer. If it’s legal, and likely to offend the radicals, just do it. That seems straightforward enough. But how many of us will have the nerve to stand up to a million or so Muslim dirtbags, and to scores of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of their fellow travelers and psychic enablers, and say in unison, “You want to kill the Enlightenment, you’re going to have to come through me.”

Sign me up.

Obama Approves Drones on Border (Updated)

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 7:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama approved the use of unmanned drones on the border between the El Paso region and Arizona (in other words, in New Mexico — the Rodney Dangerfield of States):

“The Obama administration has approved flight operations by an unmanned aerial vehicle to patrol a section of the U.S.-Mexico border between the El Paso region of Texas and Arizona.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said the Federal Aviation Administration had approved a certification of authorization to permit the flights, beginning June 1.”

Given the positive response from Texas politicians, this may also include the border east of El Paso — better known to Patterico readers as the area where Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean chased and shot drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila.

— DRJ

UPDATE: The El Paso Times has more. The drone will fly between “Fort Huachuca, an Army installation near Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Big Bend National Park” in Texas.

Obama: “Trust, But Verify”

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 7:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Like Ronald Reagan before him, President Obama has a message for his enemies: “Trust, but verify.”

Unlike President Reagan, Obama’s enemies aren’t the Soviets or a hostile foreign country. They are America’s oil companies.

— DRJ

Woman: Polanski Forced Himself on Me When I Was a Teenager

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:03 pm

Knock me over with a feather:

A British woman came forward Friday alleging sexual assault against director Roman Polanski, who is currently under house arrest in Switzerland for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

In a press conference at her attorney Gloria Allred’s Los Angeles office, Charlotte Lewis, an actress who appeared in Polanski’s 1986 film “Pirates,” alleged that Polanski sexually abused her in the “worst way possible” when she was 16 years old. Lewis claims the attack took place in Paris in 1982, four years after he fled the U.S. to escape sentencing for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.

According to Lewis, now 42, Polanski was aware that she was 16 at the time when he “forced himself” on her in his apartment. The legal age of consent in France is 15.

“He took advantage of me,” Lewis said. “What I want is justice.”

Shocking, huh? Not to Patterico readers, it’s not.

Loyal readers will recall that, back in September of 2009, I asked a simple question:

Roman Polanski’s defenders continually emphasize one thing: that despite raping a child in Los Angeles, he has never done anything like that since.

I have a simple question: how do we know that?

The next day, quoting his statement that “everyone wants to fuck young girls,” I said:

And you Polanski defenders think he didn’t do this to anyone else, huh?

I think you’re wrong.

A couple of days later I said:

The girl he raped in L.A. is not the only underage girl he had sex with. And I feel certain that she is not the only underage girl he raped, either.

Always trust content from Patterico.

UPDATE: Will this revelation change the minds of the directors who recently signed a petition advocating Polanski’s exoneration? Don’t be an idiot. To them, the auteur is above silly things like laws against sodomizing 13-year-old girls; why would another forced encounter with an underaged girl change these moral midgets’ minds?

Pelosi Cracks Down on House Travel Costs

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued new travel rules for House members:

“In guidelines sent to committee chairmen Thursday, the California Democrat said House members and staff should book coach or economy class when flying commercial. Business-class travel only will be authorized when flights exceed 14 hours. The letter and summary were released to reporters today.

(Lawmakers, of course, still can fly on government planes — such as those provided by the Defense Department for foreign trips. But Pelosi warned that the availability of DOD planes is “extremely limited” and arrangements should be made through an office that oversees congressional delegation travel, not by individual lawmakers.)”

No word on whether Pelosi’s in-flight services will be curtailed. If not, this falls under “Do as I say, not as I do.”

— DRJ

LA Times Poll on Arizona

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 5:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The L.A. Times is asking readers whether the City Council was right to vote for a boycott of Arizona. Here is the poll question and 4 choices:

Was the L.A. City Council right to pass a boycott of Arizona?

  • Yes. Arizona needs to feel the consequences of enacting a bad law.
  • Yes, though the boycott should be more of a symbolic gesture than an official measure.
  • No, but only because doing so is probably illegal and not in L.A.’s interest.
  • No. The city should mind its own business.
  • Read the article and Vote. Currently, 91% of the respondents told LA to mind its own business.

    — DRJ

    The Dark Side

    Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:26 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Al Qaeda terrorists have attacked America repeatedly, Iran may soon have nuclear weapons, Russia is forming new alliances, America and Europe face fiscal disasters, and Politico provides a forum for a San Francisco State University professor to lament … the Tea Party:

    “Tea partiers proudly proclaim themselves conservatives. And rightly so.

    Tea party protesters repeat the conservative catchwords of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, who built their careers fighting the “creeping socialism” of civil rights legislation, Social Security and Medicare.

    Tea partiers also have echoes of a well-known grass-roots movement of the 1950s and ’60s — the John Birch Society. The JBS organized in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and among business groups for anti-Communist and conservative causes.

    In tone and substance, tea partiers even sound like the JBS did. When they claim that a moderate American president is a “Communist,” it recalls the old JBS attacks on “Communist” President Dwight Eisenhower.

    As today’s tea partiers shout their slogans to end the Federal Reserve, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and restore the gold standard, they seem to be lifting a page from the old JBS playbook.

    For its part, the JBS followed in the tradition of the Liberty League, a right-wing citizens’ group organized by the DuPont family in the 1930s to overturn President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

    Yet commentators resist linking tea parties to this radical right.”

    If by “commentators” the author means the mainstream media, they aren’t resisting very hard.

    — DRJ

    Facebook Privacy

    Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 2:25 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    CNN reported yesterday on concerns about Facebook privacy:

    “In recent weeks, the site has been hit with several privacy bugs and scares that, among other things, made private chat conversations briefly visible to Facebook friends. And on April 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new Facebook feature called the “Open Graph,” which essentially brings Facebook-like functionality to a number of websites.

    CNN.com is one of several dozen sites that partner with Facebook to display and share users’ interests.

    Some Facebook users, including Sam Schreiber, say they are bothered by the fact that their online preferences are showing up all over the internet now, instead of just on Facebook.com.”

    Nicholas Carlson of SAI’s Business Insider claims a source provided copies of emails between Zuckerberg and a friend written “shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room.” If true, they demonstrate Zuckerberg’s initial casual or joking attitude toward Facebook privacy:

    “Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask.

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don’t know why.

    Zuck: They “trust me”

    Zuck: Dumb fucks.”

    Carlson concludes Facebook’s attitude toward privacy has been “consistently aggressive: Do something first, then see how people react.”

    — DRJ

    Another Bad Idea: Internet Threats

    Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 2:04 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    A Lubbock, Texas, airport worker has been arrested for making bomb threats on the internet:

    “Federal agents arrested a Lubbock airport employee this week on charges related to a bomb threat he is accused of making in early April.

    Johnathan Ivins, 20, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court today. The federal indictment alleging three counts against Ivins was unsealed Thursday.
    ***
    In the Internet comment, Ivins allegedly threatened to place a timed bomb in a vent on a plane and another bomb “somewhere in a big city.”

    “I don’t care if I get caught,” he posted. “They call me the hero.”

    Twenty years old and, if convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison.

    — DRJ

    A New Era: Iran and Al Qaeda

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:37 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Yesterday the AP reported on one of the “enduring mysteries of the war on terror”:

    “It’s one of the enduring mysteries of the war on terrorism: What will become of the al-Qaida leaders and operatives who fled into Iran after 9/11 and have been detained there for years?

    Their fate has long been a blindspot for U.S. intelligence. Recently, however, some al-Qaida figures have quietly made their way out of Iran, raising the prospect that the country is loosening its grip on the terror group so it can replenish its ranks, former and current U.S. intelligence officials say.”

    The report portrays al Qaeda leaders more as Iran’s hostages than its guests, and touches on America’s intelligence efforts to understand their relationship. Ultimately, however, many analysts concluded it was a beneficial relationship in which Iran harbored al Qaeda so both could focus on their mutual enemy, the United States. That led the Bush Administration to target al Qaeda in Iran with a program called RIGOR:

    “Late in President George W. Bush’s administration, the CIA began developing a broad and lethal counterterrorism program, RIGOR, that targeted an array of terrorists in different countries. Part of the program examined the possibility of finding and eliminating al-Qaida inside Iran, former intelligence officials said.

    They described the program as a feasibility study. One aspect was to figure out whether the CIA could slip spies into Iran to locate and possibly kill al-Qaida figures. RIGOR was separate from an earlier program involving contractors from Blackwater Worldwide.

    RIGOR existed on the books for about two years but never progressed any further. CIA Director Leon Panetta canceled RIGOR last year. A U.S. official familiar with the program said a list of specific targets had not yet been identified when the program was nixed.

    U.S. officials realized that things in Iran were changing in the waning days of Bush’s administration when Saad bin Laden crossed into Pakistan. The administration took the unusual step of announcing bin Laden’s move and freezing his assets. As many as four others were believed to have been with him.
    ***
    At the time, officials didn’t believe Saad bin Laden’s departure was an isolated event.

    Indeed, it wasn’t.

    Since Saad bin Laden left Iran, other al-Qaida figures have followed, current and former officials say. They are suspected to be taking smuggling routes heading toward Saudi Arabia or the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. Last fall, top CIA officers received intelligence reports suggesting the release of several al-Qaida members from Iran, according to a former CIA official.”

    General David Petraeus has publicly addressed the danger presented by Iran:

    “The Iranian regime is the primary state-level threat to stability in the region. Throughout much of the region, the regime pursues a dual-track foreign policy. Overtly, the Iranian government cooperates with regional states through bilateral arrangements to promote Iran as an economic, political, and military power. In parallel, the regime entrusts the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)-Qods Force to execute covert aspects of its foreign policy using political influence, covert businesses, lethal and non-lethal aid, and training to militants supportive of the regime’s agenda. The Qods Force is active throughout the region, and, in fact, controls Iranian foreign policy in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza and influences heavily in Afghanistan and the Gulf Region. Through Qods Force soft power initiatives and destabilizing activities, such as coercion and direct attacks, Iran is subverting democratic processes and intimidating the nascent governments of our partners.”

    Thus:

  • Iran harbors al Qaeda’s leaders.
  • Al Qaeda is able to continue its operations from Iran.
  • The Bush Administration tracked and targeted al Qaeda in Iran with a program called RIGOR.
  • The CIA under the Obama Administration closed the RIGOR program.
  • — DRJ

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