23 June 2009

The essence of Liberty

Watching the move of messages at Twitterfall is captivating, as is getting the latest uploaded videos, still images and testimony from various sources in Iran. There are attempts to block communications both in-country, by the regime, and via those who are supporters of the regime outside of Iran, and the messages could not be more startling to hear how the varied views of a Free People give so many viewpoints, while those supporting the regime become sock puppets for it with messages that do not diverge from the 'party line' and being unwilling to engage in civil conversation of any sort. Thus you can easily weed out those messages from your viewing just by mentally ignoring them. It is a trick we all have in our mental toolbox, but very few people realize just how fast they do process information before they mentally acknowledge it.

Still, there are some disturbing trends amongst those in the West that can only be described as pacifists or appeasers, who trot out nostrums from decades past and attempt to apply them to the situation in Iran.


First is the attempt to link up the current ongoings in Iran to the US 2000 election. Yes we all remember how the polls closed early, how multiple cities had more people voting than were registered, that George W. Bush beat Al Gore by some 99.98% to 0.02%, right? And how 2004 would see the repeat of that in spades?

Oh, that's right, that didn't happen, did it?

The only problems I remember from 2000 was that Florida did a mandatory vote recount in a very, very close election and that all after-action reports by all news groups verified that, indeed, George W. Bush carried the State by a slim margin. That news agencies got that WRONG and that first counts were inaccurate does not mean you take to the street. Nor does it mean changing how you count votes in the middle of a recount.

Losing a close election is NOT the same as having it stolen by a regime that has to HAND COUNT paper ballots, does so in an impossibly short period of time, then has 100%+ turnout in some cities. There is NO equivalent between Iran 2009 and USA 2000.

Nor was the close election of 2004 in doubt by any but conspiracy theorists who, because they see a conspiracy behind everything, put forward there was one for that election. Mind you those same folks will also attribute the entire United States, modern Europe, the state of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, indeed the entire WORLD as run by conspiracy. Anyone pushing this meme needs to be tossed into the 'crank file' of conspiracy theorists.

Those seeking to do so with 2000 need their morals and ethics examined: don't degrade those standing up to HAVE a say in government, even through a corrupt regime, by making their stance in any way, shape or form equal to a civil election with a close outcome.

I do have extreme problems with the Progressive attitudes of Liberals and Conservatives seeking to vest more power in government as that is an infringement on the Liberty and Freedom of the people when government takes more power to itself and pushes aside the people. I will not start any fight with my government, but will give civil voice to my understandings of the world, human nature and how ill-run our governments are. Any action to coerce individuals and establish government as the ONLY power and limit the VOICE of the people in it, I will take as an attack on myself.

That is why I give my love, support and understanding to the people of Iran: they are in the position of fight for Freedom or becoming slaves to government.

Do note that this Presidential Administration with more unelected 'Czars' than all of Russia ever had, that seeks to fire those who keep government accountable so as to reward supporters of the President, that attempting to push 'reform' out the door to take over companies that NEED to fail and not BECOME arms of government, that attempting to stifle the Liberty of the people to choose what health care, if any, they should get and seek help from their fellow citizens by charity for those who cannot get it, all of these things are NOT encouraging Liberty and Freedom in America. I did not like NAFTA, I do not like NCLB, I do not like the Federal Reserve, or Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, or Social Security which is going insolvent at a rate far faster than any predicted though anyone could see looking at actuarial tables, or Medicare, or Medicaid....these are all distractions from government, give too much power and say from government in our lives, and need to be chopped off with a chainsaw. We do need government, but only to curb the abuses of individuals and protect society: that is the punishing tools we hand to government.

You want government to do more?

Look at the regime in Iran: it has been doing MORE for decades. The USSR provided all those wonderful things to people like healthcare and assured retirement, if you could live long enough to reach retirement as the health care by government sucked like an Electrolux. Multiple European Nations now have 'competition' where you STILL pay for government health care and STILL have to pay if you want to get decent private care... that is not competition, but paying TWICE to purchase ONCE.

When I see the Free People of Iran standing up to have their voices heard in government, they are supporting the essential Liberty for running a representative democracy.

You do not see me trying to make equivalent their fundamental stand on Liberty and Freedom to be in any way equivalent to how I observe the problems of government. I do not have such hubris, such narcissism to project myself onto an entire Nation. I can discriminate between my civil disagreements with a civil government, that I feel does NOT represent my views and NOT turn it into a partisan cause for projecting those feelings everywhere on planet Earth. I have a fundamental and basic understanding that we have Nations to HAVE separate cultures and that all Nations are equal under the Law of Nations, and that all people have the right to form society, create government and expect government to protect it and the basis of society... not to dictate to society what it shall be.

We should be so lucky as to get a 60% turnout at the polls... and we are close enough to the 50% turnover going downwards that the pure position of the legitimacy of government now falls into question in America, and that has been becoming apparent over decades, not due to one party or another but BOTH. I don't particularly like that, either, but that is far better, to have non-representative, corrupt and generally unsupported elections than to have coerced elections with high turnouts that seek to validate a given regime that then feels free to make up the numbers as it goes along.



Supporting tyrants and dictators to intimidate, threaten and attack Nations means you should not once, nor ever, respond?

This sentiment was given to us by Neville Chamberlain and has been haunting the Left for decades. Allowing Czechoslovakia to be divided then allowed the complete take-over of the country and its $10 billion gold reserves to flush into the Nazi regime and give it a last buying spree before 1939, which witnessed a sudden dip in the value of gold as so much came into the market. The idea that a 'bad peace' that sees large Nations coercing small ones to be dismembered by tyrants and despots that then leads to a horrific war would be better than an armed stand-off to support the sovereignty of an Ally so as to deprive a tyrannical regime of the necessary funds to reinforce its military might get you a war, yes. But a far better one than you wind up with, otherwise. And if the Allies had stood up to the Nazi regime when it walked into the Ruhr valley to wrest it from Allied control, then it wouldn't even have gotten THAT far.

That means you MUST protect peace, create peace and realize that if you ally yourself to a Nation you are required to risk much for her safety, also.

Vietnam? The backlash of the US leaving was millions dead in Vietnam and Laos and tens of millions of dead due to Pol Pot's genocide in his own country which only happened once the US was no longer a factor. That was not a well supported war at home, but the 'bad peace' cost tens of millions dead in reprisals and genocide, which I don't even count as a 'bad peace' but a horrific war staged by governments upon their own people. Much thanks, but the 'bad peace' made the war seem trivial in comparison.

War is, indeed, a horror and there must be support to have the capability to wage it so as to establish a just peace. World War I went horrifically wrong and then got the very worst peace imaginable. It was so bad, so unsupported that it got another World War. WWII saw the Marshal Plan and the reconstruction of Japan as good and decent aims, beyond just confronting the USSR, there was deep good in giving civil government breathing space after long-term ventures into tyranny. That BUILT a peace which has lasted to this day. That peace was not accomplished without a horrific war before it and the unwillingness of America to let Europe 'go its own way' and, instead, seek to establish civil society as a control for government. The trend to vest more control over society in government is now making those civil governments fragile, just as it does our own: and the only quest of government is more power to government and that must be confronted at all costs.

I would much prefer to have a scaling back of government via civil means.

The revolt of Iranians point out that there is an end to that when government sees fit to stifle society and its individuals in the name of government power.

Wars, then, are necessary to establish civil power and create better government as governments can and do go corrupt, to the point of feeling that government is ALL THE POWER in a Nation. Yet all that power rests in the people of the Nation, with government being a fraction of it. Far safer to have the power in the hands of individuals with mild restrictions upon those who seek to rape, murder, kill, extort, and otherwise coerce their way into power, than to let such people get INTO power and use those methods upon the Nation.

Thus the moderate position is to see that government is a necessary evil that, at best, can administer justice equally and without favor, and be highly restricted to doing a few things necessary to defend a Nation and its society. Stepping from that is immoderate as it vests power and influence into government, thus attracting those seeking power over their fellow man for reasons not of the public good.

For those who seek peace at any price, I do understand this to be true:

3. Right of making war.(136)

In treating of the right to security (Book II. Chap. IV.), we have shown that nature gives men a right to employ force, when it is necessary for their defence, and for the preservation of their rights. This principle is generally acknowledged: reason demonstrates it; and nature herself has engraved it on the heart of man. Some fanatics indeed, taking in a literal sense the moderation recommended in the gospel, have adopted the strange fancy of suffering themselves to be massacred or plundered, rather than oppose force to violence. But we need not fear that this error will make any great progress. The generality of mankind will, of themselves, guard against its contagion — happy, if they as well knew how to keep within the just bounds which nature has set to a right that is granted only through necessity! To mark those just bounds, — and, by the rules of justice, equity, and humanity, to moderate the exercise of that harsh, though too often necessary right — is the intention of this third book.

Law of Nations, Book III by Emmerich de Vattel

Bad peace at all costs is fanaticism.

It is this understanding that I hold:

Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms. -Andrew Jackson

As it goes for States so is it held for people, and the recourse of civil discussion ends when fundamental liberty is abridged. I would prefer that governments not abridge fundamental liberty and seek to enslave their people. But once done, the right of the people to resist and give their lives to the cause of Liberty is one that makes them Free. Our Freedom is purchased with the blood of our forebearers. Do not quail and cower behind fanaticism when you see others stand up to pay that price as it is the only cost allowed for the purchase of any Liberty. To do otherwise is to enslave yourself to fear of yourself and seek slavery for yourself.

I love and honor those that stand up to support Liberty as that is the only way to get Freedom.

Even when lost, the fight against being enslaved and your children enslaved is worth the cost.

If you are not prepared to pay it, then you willingly measure yourself for the fetters to enslave you. Followers of Ghandi paid in their lives. Those rebelling in Tehran do not have the means to defend themselves. I would not dare dishonor that courage by wanting 'peace' that is 'bad' as that is encouraging tyranny. I would prefer that they were armed, as Ghandi depended on the civility of the British, while those fanatics in power in Tehran have NONE.

In case you hadn't noticed the difference.

These two memes need to be addressed as the first pre-supposes illegitimate routes to power and then legitimize them by constant repeating of them, and the second to have people submit to any odious regime rather than fight.

Together they are fatal to society and require that assertion of human liberty to keep government small so that it will not grow large and repressive.

Otherwise the final assertion is through blood.

And if you don't like seeing blood spilled overseas in the fight for essential Liberty, then do ask yourself if, and when, you will EVER support the fight for it. Otherwise measure yourself for fetters as 'Live Free or Die' is not what you support, and slavery for yourself to your pacifism are the chains you wish for everyone.

Excuse me if I disagree.

I do so in a civil manner.

I will start no fights.

Best if you keep the chain measuring to yourself.

21 June 2009

Neda died with her eyes open for a Free Iran

From twicsy, a twitter image search engine, a picture of Neda posted by bbnetworked - http://twitpic.com/7ylhh - Neda - killed by the Islamic Republic of Iran 6/20/2009 Tehran Iran - 2009-06-21 00:54:38:


Video from YouTube, may be blocked due to age restrictions:

From myself prior to this at Hot Air:

Such as it was, so shall it be:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER,” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

-Thomas Paine, Crisis

Well should we remember these words when others fight for freedom, and our own government place too onerous a tax upon us. It is the right of all men to be free of overbearing, authoritarian government that seeks to take all your liberty, freedom, and welfare from you in the name of doing any good, or any service be it to man or God.

Such as it was, so shall it be.

We are, again, in the times of Paine.


Neda died with her eyes open so that we may not shut ours.

To those who seek freedom and liberty at the cost of their lives: you have my love and thanks.

You are marching into Hell.

As we have known that, so shall we know it once again.

A Citizen of the Republic of the United States of America

19 June 2009

The factors at play in Iran

Commentary I left, posted as-is at Hot Air:

Why won’t Iran go the way of HAMAS or Hezbollah?

Because they are being brought in to fight the Iranian people. Reports of non-Iranian Arabs taking part to assist the Baseej will leave a very, very bad taste in the mouths of those standing up to be counted. They are getting first hand experience of what going that route means: they are already at its end-point and will suffer horribly if they don’t reject them. Do remember that Hezbollah is a foreign legion of Iran, funded by Iran, led by Iranian trained leaders, and willing to fight and die for the regime. Hezbollah has grown out of control since its establishment, taking part in the narcotics trade and other black market venues, it is very possible that a turnover in the regime in Iran will cripple Hezbollah in Lebanon, but leave its other units able to get by on local resources. That was Mugniyah’s method of operation for decades before he was finally taken out. The regime now has safe havens to go to if Iran falls from the inside.

Secondly, Iran is one of the great, old civilizations in the ME and that matters to them: just as it matters in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. It is a deeply civil people who have demonstrated far more control of themselves than your typical Leftists at any WTO meeting. As Paine said it was civility which held the colonies together when things went bad, and Iran demonstrates that point, yet again. A deeply civil people will put up with abusive government until their government gets as bad or worse than having no government. Remember your basics on the self-evident truths: they apply to Iranians, too, as they are humans no matter how inhuman their leaders are.

Third is the unasked Ayatollah: Ali al-Sistani in Iraq. For decades he was the center of resistance to Saddam, and yet he walked in not to create a Mullahocracy, much to the disappointment of the Council in Iran, but to support a multi-party, multi-ethnic, multi-religion State. al Sadr lost when he lost the support of Sistani back in 2005-06, and Sistani tried to correct al Sadr and warned him not to do what he did *then*. Sistani has not commented on Iran, that I’ve seen though I still have to check, and his silence is demonstration that he means what he says… it is possible to get a representative democracy going in a majority Islamic State and *still* have other religions and ethnicities present and have a say in how to run things. That is one ancient civilization speaking to another on common ground. When Sistani walked from Iran, he turned his back on the regime and they dared not kill him for that. Sistani speaks by being alive and carrying through his outlook and beliefs, he has no need to talk about it as he has done the deeds he said he would do.

Last and not least there are reports of splintering in the IRGC and splinter groups calling on the Army to help. The Army said it would not intervene, save if external States threatened Iran. Ahmedinajad is in Russia… and gets support from Putin… Russia went through two Revolutions in 1917 and know that a conscript Army will back the people. Returning troops from the front did just that. So Putin backs the dinnerjacket. Foreign support… and if a Russian ‘advisor’ or two shows up, or Russia does some minor token of ‘help’… well I can add that up. Russia looks to repay the dinnerjacket for reneging on the contracts Russia had with Iran and not paying Russia for the work it did. Putin no more trusts the regime in Iran than the West does, but for different reasons. Wouldn’t that be a nice gift to the regime? A revolution because you didn’t stick to your contracts…

The only worrying thought on the last are reports the PKK has been attacked in Iran, not out of the ordinary for ordinary times… but these are not ordinary times in Iran. Provocation, perhaps, by the Baseej and others? Possibly. If the banner of Revolution is raised, then things will get very, very interesting in the ethnic enclaves as the Army will not leave a people in Revolution to go after the non-Persian minorities, since they are to defend their OWN people.

We live in interesting times.


Indeed we do... very interesting times.

Most commentators miss the larger movement of the ancient cultures: they speak to each other in a language not carried by their voices, but by their actions, and have done so since the first mud brick cities were created in the region.

I throw Russia in because Putin does have a mean streak in him: no need to look for his soul through his eyes, his actions speak for him, too.  The people of the ME know that, just like they know each other.

And what will the Kurds, Azeris and Baluchs do?  Inquiring minds want to know.

No matter where a Revolution starts it gains its own dynamic, its own timing and figures often become figureheads.  I don't trust Mousavi for his past track record, but then he has never had to live with this sort of mass uprising against a regime he helped to put in place... and where it ends spells his own fate if he doesn't do something different.  And when you have run out of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, more liberty is left as a default unless you really do like the return of warlords and the vaporization of society.  The Mullahs might like that last, Mousavi, no matter how brutal, does not appear to be that kind of man this late in life.

The word Revolution now hangs in the air in Tehran and all Iran.

If you thought the past few days were a lot, then you ain't seen nothing yet.

16 June 2009

It's cell phones vs guns

That from GuamGuy at Twitter and I've been using Twitterfall to keep track of the events in Iran at #iraneclection, Tehran and Mousavi.  I am not a regular Twitter user, needless to say, and only got cellphones a couple of days ago as emergency use supplies.  And I do have some criticism of the technology, but that is not important.

These last five days have been monumental in breaking the way news is reported and does point to the change that technology is bringing on a global basis.  This technology is the use of networking via cell phones and the advent of that system as a complement to standard TCP/IP technology.  To refresh how we get to the point where you get news from other people who are on the spot and seeing it, and not via a 'gatekeeper' we need only step back a decade ago to the period just before rapid cellphone distribution and the first wave of information distribution that is not under the one to many paradigm.

Broadcast media (TV, Cinema, etc.) is 1:Many.  It has a single broadcast point but multiple people can pick it up.  It is also unidirectional from the broadcaster to the receiver.  This technology existed along side newspapers which were an early version of 1:Many, but only to subscribers and those who held public copies of the information.  Newspapers had limited bandwidth and low refresh rate.  Television improved both bandwidth for communication (amount of information that can be delivered per unit time) and refresh rate.  Voice and motion image delivery is a high bandwidth and high refresh rate affair for an event that can be covered.  Unfortunately the infrastructure for broadcast, like newspapers, is expensive and requires a large technical staff, and feed back is limited to those already in studios.  Television surpassed film reels for complex information delivery and made the reception cost cheap by allowing a high cost receiver to constantly receive new information, thus making it a cheap acquisition over time.

That era of news starting with the single penny 'broadsheets' all the way up to the proliferation of cable channels took 500 years to do.  Newspapers made using moveable type supplanted the previous 1:Many form of communication by bards, troubadours and town criers.  Many of those gave stories to papers for pay and invented 'reporters'.  We do not cry about the lack of Monks creating hand illuminated script, the absence of a town crier and only bards still fill an emotional need that no other media has ever supplanted... if you are ever lucky enough to find and listen to one, that is.  So we have come not to miss bards, either.

Newspapers melded over to television, but the two competed on a different basis, with television being faster and glib, as airtime that was empty was wasted time, while newspapers could do longer pieces with more research.  If the reporter ever bothered to do that, and the lack of research was always evident in both media by the method of taking something you know and see how it is reported, then remember that level of sophistication is in ALL of the paper or television media.  They looked to have a dominating stranglehold on information even into the late 1970's when television was beginning to shift reading habits to viewing habits and papers started to get into financial trouble.  Thus television became the dominant factor in 'news' 'reporting'.

A little technology developed in the 1960's to interconnect mainframe computers used a point to point messaging protocol to route messages via a non-proprietary schema.  Anyone who understood how that worked could make adapters for their systems and connect to it and exchange information.  It was developed to share processing time across computers, but found its 'killer application' in e-mail for the scientific and technical communities.  E-mail started as host system only (only the system you are on) but the networking schema allowed for e-mail to be exchanged between systems and a non-proprietary protocol was developed for it.  The Advanced Research Projects Agency had asked for the protocol to be developed not to survive nuclear war, but to share expensive processing time amongst those who owned mainframes and did government work.  The exchange of ideas, though, proved a huge boon to the scientific and technical community and spurred the growth of the internetworking schema outwards to non-government backed institutions.  It is from there we get the modern internetworked computer systems: the internet is a network of networks.

What this internet technology allowed, however, was a messaging system that could be run by institutions that allowed for common posting of thoughts and ideas on topics.  Those text-based message boards of subscriber based feedback is, essentially, what Twitter is today, just spruced up for the modern era just 40 years later.  E-mail and message boards proliferated and allowed the first new form of communication that was not single point broadcast:  Many:Many.

Many to Many systems are a distribution system between all users of the system, and allow feedback and input of those users to each other.  No longer is it One to Many, with only one individual or point being the broadcaster, but Many to Many where all can look at and respond to messages.  When that was all done by technical and scientific groups the level of noise in the system was low: everyone agreed to stay on topics of common interest.  By the 1970's and early 1980's so many universities had this type of system that the non-technical message boards started to proliferate and larger numbers of individuals refused to stay 'on topic'.  Those became known as 'trolls'.  Trolls incited passions and got into heated discussions via these means and those attacks on personal integrity that would ensue were known as 'flame wars'.  By the early 1980's there was no longer a 'clean signal' of information on the message boards and any user soon learned to block posts from certain posters and 'clean up the signal'.

Some message areas became so badly over-run with trolls that download time for messages (which cost you money) soon meant seeking out a few responsible people to start NEW message boards and moderate the commentary.  Strange to say, those would stagnate as the editorial decisions of moderators would, itself, inflame passions... no one likes an editor it appears...and things continued apace.  Technology got cheaper, proliferated into businesses, into the home and use of the internet by the 1980's was growing outside of traditional government and academia circles.  Other messaging systems for telephones from MCI and AT&T appeared and some of those were crossed with internet technology in the early 1990's.  Limited network organizations, like AOL, formed for home users to communicate with other subscribers, but the use of internet communication and adoption would force each of those smaller concerns to open up their network to the internet.

The handwriting was already on the wall for newspapers in the early 1980's, and by the 1990's it was apparent to those inside the industry that something was making newspapers obsolete.  Television viewership was reaching a peak and most blamed TV for the ills of newspapers, and no one took the unmoderated, troll-infest, flame-war prone internet seriously, save at the technical conferences I attended in the 1994-99 era.  There the 'New Media' was being talked about by early adopters and the ability to have single owner message systems, where that individual could put up a post and get feedback soon became known as the web-based log.  Web technology is an add-on to TCP/IP and rides on it, using look-up tables for names to translate them into IP addresses to route through TCP/IP networks.  Any single gateway to such a network can host its OWN network of TCP/IP addresses... and by putting a 'user friendly' software interface that was graphical (developed by scientists in Switzerland at CERN for displaying numerical data in visual format across networks) soon became a 'killer application' for the web.  Web-based logs (Blogs) were a start-up phenomena of 1:Bi-directional Many as commentary areas could be opened up for topics started by an author.  Instead of just sending out a personal rant, you could now insult everyone on a single topic at one go!  That said 1:Bi-directional Many had and still has a useful function in starting discussions on topics and while trolls still proliferate, the profusion of topics makes individual trollers either have to slow down (and thus think, which should make them less troll like) or devolve into simple name-callers, foul mouthed spewers of ideology, and generally act in a manner closer to grade school or kindergarten.

Blogs then have more signal to less noise, by and large, due to topicality of discussion and the ability of other bloggers to continue conversations or add ideas on at their own sites.  E-mail was the killer app for the early internet, and web-based browsing became the killer app for the internet of the 1990's, allowing everyone from stores to banks to your lone cat blogger, to put together a relatively simple site to post whatever they wanted.  Television viewership (as a percentage of Americans) was already declining: viewing hours were dropping and more people just weren't watching TV.  This was going on pre-web-based internet, and sped up during the era of 1999-2001.

Message boards still existed, and blogs co-existed and then eclipsed them, yet on some boards the dedicated messaging of small news stories held by large companies had already started.  I have, more than once, found myself on an interface to a message board archive finding obscure articles that are held nowhere else on the net.  The era of copyright, that the music industry was complaining about as their recordings were cheaply being copied, had already come into steep erosion.  In venues outside of traditional channels of information these articles were in clear violation of copyright, but had almost no value that could ever be rendered from them and would be lost without public copying.  The music industry would stagger at this as their business model was made obsolete the moment they published anything in digital format as the home computer was now able to break simple encryption schema or, alternatively, just copy an entire disc at a digital level.  Nothing can stop that.

Today the information coming from Twitter is the updated message boards of the early internet: they are open, generally unmoderated, depend on user input entirely, have trolls, and have the compelling interface of being updated by each and every message from each and every user displayed almost immediately.  This application is restricted compared to those message boards due to length of message that can be sent via cellphones.  Cellphones use a different networking system, but that can interface with the network neutral TCP/IP system at the router level, and some companies may just use TCP/IP and go through local hosting.  This still requires cell phone towers, central distribution points and can still be taken down by regimes.

The cell phones, themselves, are beneficiaries of Moore's Law, however, starting out with the Motorola Startac 'Brick Phone' of the 1980's, then going to smaller and smaller formats thereafter.  As the cost of integration of new features at the silicon level gets cheaper (via Moore's Law) new functions are cheaply added on to handsets while the price continues to decrease over time.  Today handsets are miniature network interface devices allowing voice, still imagery, video, and text to be input and transmitted.  Text messaging, like e-mail, is a 'killer application' that arose because it is cheaper to send digital text than analog to digital voice calls.  Some systems supported this at the magic 'free level' and that made each and every cell phone owner a free ranging reporter.  Individuals are outside the bounds of the older print and television media: people communicate about what interests them and don't give a damn about 'gatekeepers'.

Messaging via text, voice, still imagery and video is a complement to blogs, just as blogs were an early complement to message boards, and this can be seen as returning the favor to blogs to allow for dedicated end-user, live, Many:Many communications to take place.  Watching an active Twitter feed is engrossing because it is ongoing, live and the information is given by those who are actively seeking to promulgate messages.  There are STILL trolls, but they now inflame fewer passions given limited text space, and are easy to ignore.  People with fanatical belief that they are always right on all topics will ALWAYS exist, just they used to be put into attics and were the Aunt/Uncle no one talked about... they now have cell phones.

There is, with modern cell phones, more than one network available, however, and this is not talking about the network provider for phone, but the phone itself.  Today cell phones can have Bluetooth technology, which is a short range capability to move information between Bluetooth devices that have accepted each other's 'handshake'.  These form on-the-fly networks that are created by all devices that share handshakes digitally.  They are relatively low bandwidth, but amble enough for images and video to be moved between individuals on a timely basis.  These networks are 'ad hoc' and not centralized: there are no servers, per se, nor IP look up tables, just a list of devices held by each device, that they have shook hands with.  While these are small networks, they move, adapt and change configuration on a continual basis.  And as it is easy to erase handshakes, they form a set of devices that can easily be repurposed if a sub-network amongst agreed-upon devices is breached, although that takes some time to do.

These are then characterized as 'piconets' or as a Personal Area Network (as opposed to Local Area Network or Wide Area Network technologies which need centralized numbering and addressing systems).  In conception, every device on a piconet can be a server, router and be a network communication device passing information across the trusted network at a LAN/WAN or TCP/IP level... right up to the moment a trusted, connected device to the internet is found, which then allows for ALL stored data to be copied out into the internet.

Although that technology has not been used, to date, in that fashion, it points to the final breaking of authoritarian regimes having control over information.  Indeed, as such regimes border Nations that do NOT have restrictions on comms, LAN and WAN technology can be used to bypass firewalls and communicate with the larger internet world.  Satellite phones add into that, as trusted network devices, but are rare and high cost to use/maintain.  With Moore's Law the ability of piconets to reach outwards, morph, and never be fixed by location or even device, means the next threshold of personal technology to communicate with the world is nearly here.

It will not make obsolete the older, network neutral, systems as they have a great purpose in coordinating all comms via neutral protocols.

What does this mean for older technologies?

For newspapers it is not a death-knell, but a bottomless pothole.  Newspapers and other print media have hidden behind a mask of 'objectivity' while not providing 'objective' coverage of news.  That is 'Just the Facts Ma'am' or 'Joe Friday' news.  The moment you hear a reporter say 'human interest' or 'human side' of the story, you know that is no longer objective reporting.  Whenever a reporter or editorial board does not come clean with their ideological bias in how they operate, they are not being 'objective'.  One can still HAVE bias in reporting, and it is, indeed, insane to think otherwise: you think, are alive and are human, therefore you are biased.  The mask of 'objective' reporting can and indeed must be dropped to survive.  Magazines that have done so still have a committed readership and that indicates a market for biased covering of news and topics so long as the publication is absolutely clear on its position.  Individuals can and do weed out bias to get to news... watching a Twitter feed indicates that, alone.  There is no need for a 'gatekeeper' once the fence is taken down, and the fence is not that high any more and it is gone in some areas.  Those that continue on with the charade of 'objectivity' will step into a bottomless pothole, those that avoid that will not... most are stepping into the pothole.

Television has tried 'interactive TV' and failed, multiple times.  As the ethos of news presentation followed that of newspapers, the remedy for TV news is the same: identify the bias of the editorial board and reporters, and just report the damned news.  Save 'human interest' for 'entertainment' venues outside of news reporting.  Again, the gate has no fence and the gatekeeper is an antiquated figure, like the coachman holding a lantern.  Great for a lawn ornament, but not so hot for your Ford.  Television news also faces the 'bottomless pothole' dilemma in ratings, and very few news organizations are adapting to this new future.  They will go the way of bards, troubadours and Monks hand illuminating manuscripts along with their friends in the print media.

Blogs are adaptive media: bloggers have wide interests in various areas and with various forms of presentation, and the web-based log will only become more personalized to the interest of the presenter.  Because it is a highly representative form of presentation, those that come to them will adapt to those that present information in a way they like.  Bloggers are far more open about bias than their print and TV counterparts, when they have counterparts, which many do NOT as there is no way to do on 1:Many what 1:Many bi-directional with add-ons does.  There is no equivalent to Many:Many unmoderated anywhere in print or TV, due to restrictions of the medium used.  Many:Many can and most likely will serve as the basis for future 'news' as multiple individual witnesses recount information and cross-confirm events.  'Fact checking' for ongoing events goes from months, weeks, days or hours, to hours, minutes and seconds.  That is the derived Feiler Faster Thesis at work, for information uptake and understanding of information.

Twitter has brevity on its side, which forces personal editing and getting to facts quickly.  Noise can be reduced, and will be by individual... and it might be hell for those seeking to be rabble-rousers to know that they are putting out their words but that no one is picking them up any more... so sock puppets will appear and suffer the exact, same thing.  The ability of individuals to censor what they take in is a great Liberty, and learning that you are speaking only to yourself is a great goad to civility.  I am sure that text comms will open up, but here form factor of device means that actually getting a coherent long message out can't be done quickly, like on a laptop or PC: editing yourself takes space and time, and there is little screen space currently available and that is driven by form factor (it must fit in your hand) and NOT technology.  You can only see so much, and the form factor becomes the medium, thus driving messaging type.  Small videos and still images will be primary, text simple and limited until a major form factor change takes place or we replace our visual input system with something else.

To sum up: the Iranian revolt/uprising is now being communicated by multiple means (those helping to get secure gateways up and keep them up have been a godsend to Iran, plus those getting out information on how to anonymously report) is pointing to the true future of news.  It will be self-reported.

And the revolution will be self-organized.

15 June 2009

Connecting dots with Ahmed Zuhair

What, no Monzer al-Kassar?  Hey, the guy is in the Federal Pen and only able to run his international concerns via his lawyer and outside contacts, meaning he is still in business, just setting up shop in jail.  Good deal, huh?

But this time it is not him that is the case in point but recent Gitmo releasee Ahmed Zuhair.  The LA Times goes over his release, but the sole interesting part is this:

The detainees were sent back to Saudi Arabia, their home country, where officials will review their cases before sending them to a rehabilitation program. One of them was identified as Ahmed Zuhair, a relatively high profile detainee who, has been protesting his detention since 2005 through a hunger strike and has been force-fed liquid nutrients.

During a hearing in Guantanamo in October 2004, Zuhair was accused of involvement in the 1995 killing in Bosnia-Herzegovina of William Jefferson, a U.S. official with the United Nations. At the tribunal, U.S. officials said Jefferson’s watch was found on Zuhair.

Zuhair also was convicted in absentia by a Bosnian court in a 1997 car bombing in the town of Mostar. He also allegedly told another detainee he was involved in the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole in 2000, according to evidence presented at a Guantanamo proceeding.

Ah, Bosnia, the ill-fated venture of President Clinton.  Now instead of going all Bosniak, I'm going to work out the standard FOAF network deal with Zuhair... what is a FOAF network?

As I've examined voluminously (via the Red Mafia, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Monzer al-Kassar and others individuals and organizations) the FOAF network is a trust based network.  It is a Friend Of A Friend network, in which someone knows someone who knows someone, until you get everyone in the US within 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.  In the underworld, here more broadly including Transnational Terrorism along with organized crime, a FOAF network is one based on high degrees of trust between individuals within the network.  What this does is draws a very tight web of interconnections amongst disparate organizations and individuals that have a few individuals and organizations serving as a distributed set of nexus points: there is no one, key nexus point in the web, but a distributed set of highly interconnected actors.

With 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, any individual is not likely to be at the 6 degrees apart, and very few are at 0 degrees apart, since those are the direct friends, families and co-workers of Mr. Bacon.  In between are most everyone else in the country, but what shows up is that in the web of indirect contacts there are individuals that show up multiple times and become a 'nexus' as they know a lot of people.  Similarly in terrorism and organized crime there are nexus points that are individuals and well integrated groups of individuals who share contacts within the group, thus creating a group-based nexus point.

So Zuhair's affiliation with a local terrorist affiliate of al Qaeda puts him in direct contact with al Qaeda as a whole.  Further in the raid that picked him up there were papers linking the group outwards to other groups and individuals called the Golden Chain Document.  In examining another individual (here and here) the outward links from those documents to multiple individuals and groups comes up, and one of the individuals is part of the al-Bakri holding company, a family owned company.  That company owns Petronas, a Malaysian petroleum firm.

That firm was looking for oil in Kenya, of all places, and needed to do some exploration of the Lamu Peninsula while Raila Odinga was Oil Minister.  Now what happened is to Red Mafia types (the Artur Brothers) show up to chase a local drug kingpin in the peninsula to the Netherlands and kills him there... you know if they just wanted to take over part of the trade they could have just worked a deal... but the Red Mafia doesn't tend to do that at any level.  So Odinga invests heavily in the local National Oil firm plus a few others and Petronas comes in and the Artur Brothers set up a narcotics syndicate in Kenya.

Now during one of the nastier bits of Kenya's recent past, a newspaper was going to publish some very damaging bits on the ODM Party of Raila Odinga, about its connections to al-Bakri.  Strangely enough the Artur Brothers show up leading a police raid on the paper to destroy the information, and then have a lawyer put up for them by the al-Bakri subsidiary.

With me so far?

Ahmed Zuhair to al Qaeda.

al Qaeda to Abdulkader al-Bakri.

al-Bakri to Petronas, a subsidiary in a family held company so thus a zero degree separation internally to the al-Bakri organization which is cited as the one helping al Qaeda.

al-Bakri/Petronas to Raila Odinga.

The last connection is, of course, that Barack Obama's father came from the Luo tribe and Barack Obama, by his own account, was contacting Raila Odinga nightly while on the campaign trail.


Zuhair to al Qaeda.

al Qaeda to al-Bakri and, thus, Petronas.

al-Bakri/Petronas to Raila Odinga.

Raila Odinga to President Barack Obama.

Three degrees of separation between Ahmed Zuhair and President Barack Obama.

When you are looking for who has pull, you look at who they know.

No need to follow the money.

The relationships speak for themselves.

To the people of Iran in your days of strife

As an American I have always appreciated the great gifts of civilization that Persia and later Iran would bring to our world. While one side of the divide that is athwart Europe, Asia and Africa, your peoples have always exhibited a dignity and respect amongst themselves that is deep and abiding. Your suffering under tyrants, thugs and dictators of many stripes over the millennia have demonstrated your strength as a society, a people and a Nation.

I support you in your days of trouble to try and wrest justice from the grasp of injustice, and security from the heart of unreason.

The involvement of my Nation and other Nations in the affairs of your people is not a simple one: there is no easy point in time to say that things were ever neat, clean or easy between us. From Darius and Xerxes onwards has been interaction good and bad that exists between the hearts of our cultures, and yet, throughout all that, the basic and common respect and decency within Persia, within Iran, has been steadfast. I do not blame your people for the ills of ancient tyrants and Emperors, nor can offer apology for the works of men like Alexander or Belisarius. Their wit and skill on the battlefield has been demonstrated between peoples for those same millennia and we marvel at the ingenuity, courage and bravery of all of them, and Persia is no exception. Ever.

From the late 19th century your peoples have had problems ordering their affairs amidst the tumult of competing groups, and this has been true of all Nations, weak and strong alike. I cannot offer apology for the removal of the Pro-Nazi Shah, nor for the return of him once your political order seemed to be on the verge of subjugation by a worse order of tyrant than any Shah had ever been. As I grew up seeing the rise of the new totalitarianism of religion in your land, once an Ally of America, I, in my youth wept and grew angry with your people, until I could grow and learn the true horror that was being inflicted upon you by those that took the reins of power to themselves.

From there the trouble of the regime are not yours, as a people, even as they claim to speak for you. I know this because they would not let the people of your ancient culture speak for themselves. Whenever I see that happen in any land, where a dictator, tyrant, or any authoritarian regime claims to speak for their people but keep their people muzzled, I see the heart of darkness and the mask of lies.

I have given worry to your situation and how awful, how despotic, your rulers are, and I do not like what I see and how those rulers see you, the people of Iran, as pawns to be used and expended in their game of power and tyranny. They fall into the templates of terror, as do others, to enforce their view of the world upon the world and are willing to hurt you, the people they should be protecting, to gain their ends.

What my Nation and others started in 1999 was left undone and cost many in your neighbor's country their lives, and showed that my Nation was not willing to back its words of supporting those willing to fight a tyrant with our own power so that they could make good his removal. Only in these past 6 years have we, now, moved to exculpate that debt to your neighbors to shift that status quo of tyranny so that our blood will mix with theirs in the everlasting sand, so as to establish that peoples in your region of our fair world can, indeed, build for themselves, speak for themselves and protect themselves. My people cannot ease yours, now, because of that and wanting your neighbors to succeed costs us dearly as any project does that tries to give space to liberty and freedom which is the self-evident right of all mankind. We were once willing to bear any cost for helping those seeking liberty and freedom, but our earthly capacity is now limited and we do not know what the true cost of not sustaining those things are.

I cannot speak better than my forefathers of the Nation in this, so I let him speak for me on this in your time of troubles:

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. WHEREFORE, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out of the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776.

I do, indeed, recognize the difference between the People of Iran and those that govern your Nation.

As my Nation heads into a time of troubles, there is scant more than I can offer you than my support, so that the Free People of Iran will step forward from the darkness of their plight and know that the Tree of Liberty is ever nourished by the blood of tyrants and patriots.

May that Great Tree grow so we can suffer over the losses of the patriots and establish the shade of Liberty and create Freedom in that shade as an everlasting good to be guarded.

And as you quest for that Great Tree to take root, my own fellow citizens come to recognize the awful price that must be paid by us to sustain our Great Tree and that its continued shade must be gained at great cost.

As it is written, so it is true that peace is always to be sought but it cannot be ensured without the cost of blood upon the civil sword as that is the required nourishment of Liberty to provide the shade of Freedom for all Mankind. The cost of not doing so is servitude for yourselves and your children until the price of Liberty outweighs any earthly cost.

My hand of friendship is open to the Free People of Iran. Just as it is to your neighbors in Iraq. And to all free peoples willing to pay that heavy cost, as we must sorrow together to secure that cost and know that such payments are well worth any monetary loss but can never, ever be covered by them. It is not an easy place to stand, under the shade of the Great Tree of Liberty. But one can stand free in no other place.

My deepest sorrows to the Free People of Iran.

May they win their Freedom to secure Liberty.

You are not alone.

12 June 2009

The war to establish despotism

From die.net word search:

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Despotism \Des"po*tism\, n. [Cf. F. despotisme.]

1. The power, spirit, or principles of a despot; absolute control over others; tyrannical sway; tyranny. ``The despotism of vice.'' --Byron.

2. A government which is directed by a despot; a despotic monarchy; absolutism; autocracy.

Despotism . . . is the only form of government which may with safety to itself neglect the education of its infant poor. --Bp. Horsley.

Despotism is totalitarian control of others, particularly regarded as absolute control of a Nation's citizens by a government or other ruler.

Consider the killing of Pvt. William Long, in Arkansas from KATV 01 JUN 2009:

Little Rock - Authorities have identified the soldier killed in Monday's double-shooting outside a U.S Army recruitment office in west Little Rock.

According to Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper, 23-year-old William Long of Conway died shortly after being transported to a Little Rock hospital.

Police say the incident occurred around 10:15 a.m. at a U.S. Army Navy Career Center inside the Ashley Square Shopping Center at 9112 North Rodney Parham Road. According to Lt. Terry Hastings with the Little Rock Police Department, two enlisted soldiers standing outside the office were hit when a suspect drove up in a black SUV and began shooting.

At a briefing Monday afternoon, Little Rock police chief Stuart Thomas identified the suspect as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, of Little Rock. Thomas says Muhammad also goes by the name Carlos Bledsoe.
Hastings identified the second wounded soldier as Quinton Ezeagwula, age unknown. He remains at a local hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

The NW Arkansas Times gives background on Muhammad's background including his radicalization during a trip to Yemen, and KATV follows that up with further background and the current state of Muhammad.  An interesting thing about reading those two links is the heart of Christian forgiveness is very much present for someone who, in no way, has an excuse for his crime.  That heart of charity is still a vital one in America, and we dare not forget that even as we see the horrific acts carried out by the man brought in for his crimes after being chased down by police.

ABC News reports that Muhammad traveled to Yemen under a Somali passport, which is well nigh possible due to the lack of government there along with absence of document control.  What is telling is the report at CNSNews from AP on 10 JUN 2009:

Little Rock, Ark. (AP) - A Muslim convert charged with fatally shooting an American soldier at a military recruiting center said Tuesday that he doesn't consider the killing a murder because U.S. military action in the Middle East made the killing justified.

"I do feel I'm not guilty," Abdulhakim Muhammad told The Associated Press in a collect call from the Pulaski County jail. "I don't think it was murder, because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason."


Muhammad told the AP he admitted to his actions to police and said he was retaliating against the U.S. military.

"Yes, I did tell the police upon my arrest that this was an act of retaliation, and not a reaction on the soldiers personally," Muhammad said. He called it "a act, for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military."

In the interview, Muhammad also disputed his lawyer's claim that he had been "radicalized" in a Yemeni prison and said fellow prisoners that some call terrorists were actually "very good Muslim brothers."

He also said he didn't specifically plan the shootings that morning.

"It's been on my mind for awhile. It wasn't nothing planned really. It was just the heat of the moment, you know," said Muhammad, who was arrested on a highway shortly after the attack.


He said the U.S. military would never treat Christians and their Scriptures in the same manner.

"U.S. soldiers are killing innocent Muslim men and women. We believe that we have to strike back. We believe in eye for an eye. We don't believe in turning the other cheek," he said.

Asked whether he considered the shootings at the recruiting center an act of war, Muhammad said "I didn't know the soldiers personally, but yes, it was an attack of retaliation. And I feel that other attacks, not by me or people I know, but definitely Muslims in this country and others elsewhere, are going to attack for doing those things they did," especially desecrating the Quran.

That is someone who does not recognize the sovereignty we invest in the Nation State to wage war on behalf of society.  In trying to devolve conflicts that the US is involved in at the behest of Congress and due to an attack on the US homeland, Muhammad has decided that his ideology, his religion, is paramount over all Nations.  When one takes up killing for this reason and will not recognize the sovereignty of the Nations involved, he defines himself as a threat to all Nations.  He sees himself acting in accordance with a 'higher law' that will not recognize the laws of Earth set up under the Law of Nature to differentiate ourselves from Nature.

He cannot even distinguish between his personal act of war and normal predation against society.  He protests that it wasn't pre-meditated, and yet that he had thought a long time about this and had multiple weapons in his vehicle.  To do that, to think about retaliation against soldiers while not being a soldier, for putting those weapons in his vehicle and then taking up to make war on his own does not require him to know the difference.  Indeed, if one has reverted fully to the Law of Nature there IS NO DIFFERENCE in forms of war and all are equal.  That is his view, as he states it, that he is fully justified in taking up the cause of war against soldiers of a Nation while not being a soldier or under any sovereign power save that which he believes in which is no Nation.

Such attacks when done in the name of religion to commit an act of war is the attempt to destabilize a Nation's society and make some form of moral equivalence between war done under the restrictions of civilization and those done under the Law of Nature, and yet one holds an individual accountable for their actions to society and the other does not.  His invocation of Muslim law, Sharia law, to justify his acts are an attempt to establish LEGITIMACY of them so that other followers can terrorize society to enforce their will upon society.

That is the heart of despotism: seeking to establish a tyrannical rule over others, in this case using fear as the weapon of choice beyond the blood spilled to his 'cause'.  We have heard this countless times in the past from those seeking to support that killing under no banner, no flag, wearing no uniform, under no command structure and being accountable only to a 'higher power' that can't be reasoned with is just that activity and places such individuals as outlaws to all societies, all Nations.  That is the banner of your beliefs over all others, and that not only makes him a criminal but makes him a killer unrestrained by reason and refusing to acknowledge temporal law over him.  By doing that he casts himself out from society, not the other way around.  And what he wants in the place of the society that exists is one that is subservient to a religion that has deep problems recognizing temporal law as something separate from religious law.

He seeks the despotism of a religion over society to dictate to it and rule it absolutely.


At the Holocaust Memorial Museum the murder of Stephen Tyrone Johns, a black security guard, by a white supremacist is examined at Fox News on 11 JUN 2009.  We are slowly coming to learn as much about James Von Brunn as Abdulhakim Muhammad as the events unfold:

Von Brunn, who was shot and critically wounded after he burst into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and opened fire, was sending increasingly violent messages. In one e-mail, he wrote, "It's time to kill all the Jews," according to the Post.

He also told friends he was in financial trouble and was going to give away his computer.

"He said his Social Security had been cut and that he was barely making it," acquaintance John de Nugent, a self-described white separatist, told the Post. "He felt it was the direct result of someone in Washington looking at his Web site."


Von Brunn, a World War II veteran, had long been known in white supremacist circles for his racist rants and extreme hatred of Jews and blacks. He lives in Annapolis, Md., and has a history of anger, abusive behavior, anti-Semitism and anti-government aggression.

The Web site attributed to Von Brunn says he wrote a book called "Kill the Best Gentiles," about how to "protect your white family."

Online writings said to be Von Brunn's claim the Holocaust was a hoax and lambaste a Jewish conspiracy to "destroy the white gene pool."

The guard he shot and killed actually opened up the door for him to the Memorial, giving help to an older man because that is the kind and courteous thing to do.

At KUSI on 11 JUN 2009 there is further reporting:

Law enforcement officials said James W. von Brunn, a white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting and that his car was found near the museum and tested for explosives. The weapon was a .22-caliber rifle, they added. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss the investigation just beginning.

When von Brunn was captured he possessed a list he had made of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to another law enforcement officer who requested anonymity. The purpose of the list was not immediately clear, the official said.

The dead guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, 39, was a six-year veteran of the facility who lived in Temple Hills, Md. Museum Director Sara Bloomfield said he "died heroically in the line of duty."


Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentiles," alleging a Jewish conspiracy "to destroy the white gene pool." Writings attributed to von Brunn on the Internet say the Holocaust was a hoax.

In 1983, he was convicted of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board and served more than six years in prison. He was arrested two years earlier outside the room where the board was meeting, carrying a revolver, knife and sawed-off shotgun. At the time, police said von Brunn wanted to take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties.

"At Auschwitz the 'Holocaust' myth became Reality, and Germany, cultural gem of the West, became a pariah among world nations," it says.


Navy records show von Brunn enlisted in 1942 as an apprentice seaman before accepting an appointment as a naval midshipmen in the volunteer reserves in March 1943. On his application for enlistment, the 21-year-old listed his reason for signing up as "patriotic." His records show he had language qualifications in both English and French after spending three years in college. He was discharged from the Navy in 1956.

A cousin, Virginia Gerker of St. Louis, said in an interview she hadn't seen him in 50 years. She said her family had "disowned" him and believed him to be mentally ill.

About a dozen years ago, he applied to have his art shown at a gallery in Easton, Md., according to two of the owners. Laura Era and Jennifer Wharton said they rejected his work and he stomped out.

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said von Brunn's Web site has long been listed as a hate site.

"We've been tracking this guy for decades," said Heidi Beirich, director of research for the law center's Intelligence Project, which tracks hate crimes. "He thinks the Jews control the Federal Reserve, the banking system, that basically all Jews are evil."

The Rev. David Ostendorf, executive director of the Center for a New Community in Chicago, a national civil rights group, said von Brunn has described in his own writings a long relationship with Willis Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby, the Spotlight Newspaper and a well-known white supremacist and anti-Semite.

Here a white supremacist, racist, anti-semite who also believes in killing off 'the Best Gentiles' inflicts his beliefs upon an innocent man who serves to protect others while visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  He, too, has a stark view of the world and has demonstrated that he was more than willing to take the law into his own hands and operate outside the law.  His idolization of Nazi Germany however is telling, and gains him the label of 'Neo-Nazi' and not without some justification.

It is the actual acting out of these ideals, on his own, and in a way consistent with his beliefs that is highly disturbing.  The idolatry of a Fascist State that turned to exterminating its own citizens of Jewish origin, as well as Gypsies, the mentally and physically handicapped and others that were regarded as not wanted to 'purify' a race demonstrates some level of accepting that concept as a good one.  That is to link National Socialism with racial supremacy and then blame all the ills of a Nation and oneself on those who were Jewish or black is something that must be stood against.  That is not a belief of someone from the 'right' any more than that of Abdulhakim Muhammad is.

They both stand for a supremacy of government under their own totalitarian desires to enforce its will upon society.  That is backing despotic rule: one under religious pretexts and the other under racial ones.  That concept of using the 'binding' power of government to do this is not something that grows out of supporting individual liberty, individual freedom, and individual rights: it grows out of supporting government to take over decision making for society.  That is in no way, shape or form something those supporting the Rights of Man as an Individual will ever countenance.  Nor is it one that any old-school Nationalist will subscribe to, as the Nation is an outgrowth of society and the State is made to curb the excesses of individuals so as to protect the polity and civil society.

As individuals both Pvt. William Long and Stephen Tyrone Johns had the right to defend themselves, but both were killed by cowards: Pvt. Long in what is essentially a 'drive-by' shooting, and Mr. Johns after showing an act of kindness to an elderly man.  Within the protective bosom of society neither Muhammad nor von Brunn had any expectation of immediate retribution and no fear that they would brought down for reverting to savagery while attacking those protecting society.  That is an essential part of liberty: to protect oneself and one's property against those who turn lawless and seek to use fear, coercion and killing to achieve their ends of depriving you of life or property.

These two killers step beyond the bounds of society.

No one in society, seeking to protect society, in any way condones these actions.

Nor should any excuses for their actions be brought forward, save that of total and utter derangement which does not appear to be the case with either of these men.

This cannot be pinned to those who support individual liberty, freedom and the Rights of Man as an Individual: the Traditionalist Right who uphold the government as a necessary evil so as to curb the excesses of individuals and stop their predation upon society.  Those are people who uphold civil law as paramount to leading a secure life and knowing that government, itself, is held in check by society.  Neither of these killers espoused that, and just the opposite, as both have beliefs and stated views that see government as the necessary dictatorial power over society to achieve their ends.

Collectivist mentality in politics only has one place, one home, today: those that seek to expand the role of government, diminish the liberty of the individual, and discriminate by group, class, economic status or any other thing.  Those are despotic ends, to have government do these things.  The home for them exists not on those who support the Rights of Man as an Individual, as they are absolutely and utterly contrary to those views.

The home of espousing the 'good' of separation, of division, of giving some preferences over others at the expense of society in the name of 'good' or 'fairness' is only done by those espousing the power of government over society.  They seek to excuse such killers or pin their position to those seeking to uphold civil rights and equality for all men, with preference towards none.  By trying to push such killers away, those doing so are unable to take the firm stand necessary against them as seeking more power for government to rule society is a matter of degree, not kind.  In the end the despotism sought by that cover is the same, just slightly different in form as some people become more equal than others.

They just argue about who is at the top of the heap.

All of them wish to bring back the yoke of tyranny and despotism.

Be warned the sweet and soothing words of 'fairness' and 'good' from government: it coats the poison of totalitarian views, where you are just a set of tags easily discriminated against by government.  Thus making you into a subject, not a citizen.

08 June 2009

Obamacare or Cthulhucare?

Remember you, the American Slacker Electorate, voted for Obamacare!

At least one candidate was honest about what you would be getting... and its cheaper, too!

And gets the exact, same results.... Obamacare and Cthulhucare both get you killed.

At least ONE was honest about it.

And it wasn't the ones the voters put in office.

Remember that the next time you get stuck with the 'Lesser of Two Evils' decision.

Because you are always voting for evil.

05 June 2009

Mangling history, Presidential style

A minor quibble with President Obama right off the bat at his address given in Cairo (LAT text here):

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement.

What, no mention of how the first school of secular learning, the Cairo School of Engineering was shut down in 1854 to leave the State School of Religion, Al-Azhar as the only educational institution? For all that bastion of learning and such, you would think a minor nod to how religion trumps education would be cited and how the Nation of Egypt would found a new center of learning in 1908.

Minor, yes, but still, that is not something you gloss over when addressing EDUCATIONAL INSITUTIONS: how some have been shut down in the past to squelch learning. That would play into the whole point of how totalitarian regimes, be they secular or religious, put a hard foot down on learning, in general, and ensure that it only serves the need of the religion or State, and that NEITHER of those is in any way, shape or form, good.

But then Mr. 'Constitutional Scholar' President Obama doesn't seem too concerned with that.


Now on to Leftist History 101, breeding grounds of everything:

More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Yup and right after WWII the colonial powers left Africa and the Middle East, by and large. Some of the last parts of sub-Saharan Africa took awhile, going into the 1960's, and Iraq had problems getting a government going, what with all the coups and such, plus France losing interest in all but a piece of real estate here and there. The real gripe about colonialism ending is that when the colonial powers LEFT conflicts that had been put under wraps then boiled to the surface. Throw in petty tyrants, dictators and kleptocrats and you have the perfect stew of post-colonialism that is NOT the problem of the colonial powers as they had LEFT the region. Sorry, deal with it on your own, that is what liberty is all about,no?

As to the Cold War, the USSR did curry favor with Syria, Libya, Egypt and a few other choice places, including Iraq. The US helped Israel, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait and Iran until President Carter decided to abandon an ally... which brought in an extremely radical government in what had been a by-and-large secular State for decades before that. Yup, WWII saw the Shah taken out, a representative government put in, that went corrupt, and the monarchy restored, and NO it was not a lovely place politically with so many factions that they couldn't keep a decent government together. You would think someone would back Traditional government aligned with the ethnic sensibilities of the country, just as we are implored to do today to some of the vilest regimes on the planet.

You don't want to be modern? Fine. Don't purchase modern goods and stick to your traditional way of doing things... unless you get a Leftist trying to push some 'modern' ideas at you at gun point, then you might want to arm up a bit. Ask some American gun owners about that...

As to the hostility bit? I'll get to that a bit later, but let me just say that it didn't start in the Post War, Colonial Period, or even in the Crusades... nope, you have to get pretty far back for this hostility stuff and go pretty much back to the Prophet.


Then there is this part:

So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

Say, Mr. President, how about letting bankruptcy courts settle things in the US and not trying to differentiate between those 'too big to fail' and not? What is that about defining such things to sow discord at home? All of that stuff and being partisan and on the campaign trail... all of that is really causing an 'empowerment' of the extreme left to sow hatred. Really you should be the President for all of America and recognize and respect the differences between Americans and then stop shoving that stuff down the throats of Americans who will have to pay for generations for all the lovely 'good' you want to do.

You know, administer the law in a just way so that we are not impoverished saving bankrupt mega-corporations and might have a chance for prosperity again? Tell you what, practice what you preach, Mr. President and start right here at home where your job is. Call it 'An Outreach To The Americans I Don't Give A Damn About'. You know, the bitter, bible clingers that have armed up their Nation with a couple of Chinese Army sized firearms purchases in the last 6 months?


A very precious part, really, belied by his own words before and after:

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.

Mr. 'Student of History' President Obama has already demonstrated he doesn't give a good god-damn about history. Any history, not just that of the US or the West, but of Islam and the East. World History is not his forte... he is Global Ignorant and capable of Profound Talking Points. History R Not Him.

Really, though, the concept of ZERO is a great one for President Obama to reflect upon as it is his sum ability to know history here. I've got some news for him on Navigation, though: while Muslims were going after the Eastern Roman Empire, Vikings were navigating to America with a number of rudimentary tools. You have to go back to the Ancient Greeks to get some of them, so they pre-exist Islam and its culture. Celestial navigation is not a modern invention, nor an Islamic one but dates back to that period, also. And while Zero does come from the Arabic culture, it is also independently discovered by the Maya and Chinese, if memory serves, and there may be some dispute as to where it actually does originate. And if you want to look at the spread of disease, you will probably find Galen pretty much at the top of the: study, chart and remedy area as he was in so many areas of healing.

And this is even before doing a survey of Polynesian sailing techniques, or central African Kingdoms pre-Islam.

The West does owe a debt to the Islamic culture, no doubt.

Make sure it is a half-way decent list, don't downplay the importance of separate discovery and show joy that such understanding can happen in many cultures without cross-fertilization between them. You know, the Leftist Multi-Culti Chorus Line bit? Degrading learning because it has anything to do with culture? What's up with that, anyways?


Next up on the hit parade:

Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

I'm going to skip the architecture and peace gardens bit. Rome, Babylon, Ancient Greece, etc. on that.

Nope, it is the 'possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality' bit that I'm going to hit.

'Religious tolerance' in Islam used to mean: we will not persecute you, kill you, if you pay us to practice your religion and accept that you are second class citizens without the rights of Muslims.

'Racial equality' means that all non-believers can be enslaved.

Read on.


Continuing on with the President's address at Cairo, I next run across this paragraph:

I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.

Now Morocco did sign a Treaty with the US in 1777! First hit to President Obama, on getting the year wrong. That said Morocco did not stick to that and when it decided to go after the UK, it also took 100 US sailors and crew hostage. And cut down the flagpole at the Embassy. When their government was asked in 1786 why it had done so while the US had done NOTHING to Morocco, here was the reply from Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

As they viewed us as slaves and you cannot make a Treaty with slaves, Morocco would also be the first Nation to RENOUNCE a Treaty with the United States.

Ah, you can have your own political views, but you are not entitled to your own history. Now on to those Nations that recognized our sovereignty and MEANT IT.

The Treaty of Alliance of 1778 saw the recognition of the sovereignty of the United States by the FIRST country to recognize the Nation: FRANCE. That is how we got all that lovely money and equipment to FIGHT the Revolutionary War. You must be a sovereign Nation to sign a treaty with another sovereign Nation.

Then the SECOND country to recognize the United States was the United Provinces of the Netherlands recognizes while it was negotiating in France as part of a larger set of peace accords on 19 APR 1783. This was solidified by Treaty signature later that year as part of the larger set of accords.

The Peace of Paris signed in 1783 saw the THIRD country to recognize the sovereignty of the US: Great Britain.

Pinckney's Treaty of 27 OCT 1795 saw the FOURTH country to recognize the US: Spain.

How could ANY President of the United States NOT recognize this?

Especially that of France which helped us to the point of impoverishment to win the Revolutionary War and the fact that Morocco had disingenuously signed a Treaty it did not mean to UPHOLD?

So much for 'scholarship'. So much for modern hostility. So much for 'possibilities' of equality racial and religious.

Where did we get religious tolerance from?

The Peace of Westphalia. The US falls under that via the Winter Queen and the Restoration.


How about this next part speaking of Muslims in the US?

They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.

Ok, Mr. 'Student of History' President Obama, imagine what would have happened to Thomas Jefferson if he did for the Koran what he did for the Holy Bible.

Yeah, the words 'off with his head' come to mind first and foremost.

Having a Koran, or Holy Bible, or any other work by Thomas Jefferson was just grist for his mental mill: he scoured them all, analyzed them and gained what learning he could across everything he read. So, instead of lauding the Koran that was once Jefferson's, just imagine him deciding that would be the next good book to hit on his analysis list....

You think we have things tough, now?

Never, ever, cite Jefferson and religion in the same breath. It took Ben Franklin to serve as his editor on the Declaration of Independence to make it readable and excise the religious tracts to make sure that self-evident stood as just that outside of any religion. If it is self-evident: say so. Once he had that down pat, he did so. Continuously. Just look at his writings on Catholicism, now imagine that mental energy turned towards Islam. That Koran he had? Treat it like a nuclear explosive and keep it in lead... along with any notes on the material.


Oh, god, MORE personal story from President Obama.

Can he cut that out? It is really getting to me in a bad way: the more he tells me about himself, the less I am liking the man.

Personal stories that lead through Columbia and Harvard, law firms, 'activism', thugs, and shady international contacts is not one of the 'little guys', let me tell you, but speaks of privilege and lack of ethics.


This is eye catching:

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.

Parents can tell 'girls' what to wear, in case the President forgets that. 'Girls' who have not followed those moral strictures and actually dated boys have wound up at the sharp end of 'honor killings'. In the US. When those who are suspected of doing so flee, we have not put on hot pursuit. I've got a problem with that.

Also, in America we demand to see who it is we are dealing with for financial and other transactions, particularly where identity is concerned. When you come before the State you do NOT get to hide those things: your identity must be revealed as the State allows NO religion to hide that. If women want to show themselves subservient to a teaching that puts forward that men are so lustful that they will go after even the barest square inch of exposed feminine flesh, thats fine. When a woman tries to get AWAY from that and abuse, as such garments ALSO hide that, then that is a concern for the State in protecting its citizens from each other. It has limitations in a marriage, and non-Islamic women have walked right back to abusive boyfriends and husbands and gotten killed: we cannot beat sense into people. We can shield them from abuse when they seek to escape it, and protect them from 'honor killings'. For a culture that makes 'rape' out to be anything witnessed by three men, that has got to be worrying to women.

Ahh, not only not knowing much about history, but economics:

For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations.

It only has a real impact if the economy is big enough. Note the long slide of Japan and its 'lost decade' of overspending to perpetual debt did NOT cause a global catastrophe. Nor did the Asian Tiger economies hitting the tubes. Argentina didn't make a ripple a couple of decades ago. The collapse of the USSR actually helped things a little.

No only when the primary economy of the world has trouble can the rest of the world shake.

And the Japanese demonstrated you cannot spend your way to solvency.

So, Mr. Economist-in-Chief President Obama: why are you doing that?

Just asking!

And when the US was the only member of the Nuclear club, was, say, India threatened? Italy? Brazil? Australia?

When we had the Cold War it was in the interest of the major power blocks to keep the technology under wraps, and STILL we had India and Pakistan, North Korea, Libya, Iraq, Syria and other nations pursuing nuclear weapons. Here's the deal: it isn't an idea that can be put back into a bottle, but simply engineering based on physics that are well known across the world. Anyone can pursue a nuclear weapon and getting the fissile material is the hardest part of it. The rest is getting to be off-the-shelf components. No President, no UN, no Treaty, NOTHING will stop this save SELF-RESTRAINT and we have witnessed that some nations just don't have any.


On to the great peaciness stuff:

The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.

In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

Ok, here is the deal: Treat Pirates as Pirates.

Treat Terrorists as Pirates because they ARE.

You want to get rid of non-State actors taking up war? This is an ancient problem, Mr. President, and the political Left has done its best to make us forget its history and what it is. You want to go after non-State actors committing acts of war? Then DO SO as you are the damned President of the United States and that is YOUR JOB TO DO.


Next is the glossy 'look at how many allies we have that I castigated the Nation for not having and now realize were really there' bit. Thanks for remembering them, Mr. President. Could you slap some of your sycophants upside the head on that score and stop the inanity of 'going it alone' as we didn't do that in Afghanistan or Iraq or with North Korea? Please?


Next up is lesson not learned in Iraq:

We also know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why we plan to invest $1.5 billion each year over the next five years to partner with Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads and businesses, and hundreds of millions to help those who have been displaced. And that is why we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and deliver services that people depend upon.

You fight to create civil order FIRST. Then backfill with schools, jobs, and other necessary works. Afghanistan has a short window that is closing on this due to Pakistan. Pakistan's window is starting to close pretty fast and if they don't get civil government re-established in the NWFP and other 'tribal areas' then there might not BE a Pakistan around to help, but a lovely chaos and grab for the nukes.

Getting control established is required FIRST.

THEN you backfill and solidify.

Not the other way around.

If Pakistan goes down, it will be due to US money getting filtered through a corrupt bureaucracy and funds going to radical extremists. And there are more than just those near Afghanistan to worry about. The Pakistani military and police desperately need to be able to fight, hold, keep and then give a breathing space behind them to rebuilding their society while doing necessary COIN work to remove extremists. The Left SCREAMED at the cost of OIF per year, and yet the results for a stable society and elections in Iraq with peaceful transition of power are ones that need to be remembered as we fought hard and spent precious American blood to re-learn COIN in the modern age.

A lesson that we should not forget in Pakistan.


Speaking of Iraq:

Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Iraq was not a 'war of choice' but one that President Clinton refused to address leaving a tyrant and genocidal killer in power who had not signed a peace treaty and who would not even keep to his cease-fire agreements. That is the HISTORY of what happened after Desert Storm and when Democrats were in power they squawked about it throughout the 1990's. Saddam was seen as a threat and by 1998 Congress had put forward that the President should DO SOMETHING to make that despot stick to his word. President Clinton did not. The cease fire was already in tatters, weapons inspectors had games played with them, Saddam would not come clean as HE AGREED TO and only when a Republican became President did those lovely supporters of taking him down have to put the money where their mouth was.

Congress did so.

The previous conflict hadn't ended.

Note that North Korea seems to have dissolved its cease fire agreement.

Same deal.

Just because it has been in place since Eisenhower's Administration doesn't mean it is a 'peace treaty'. It isn't.

See that sentence with Saddam Hussein in it? End it at the end of Hussein, along with the rest of the paragraph.

Jefferson's works had the following in them as recounted by Gerard W. Gawalt at the Library of Congress site on Jefferson's papers:

Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, opposed the payment of tribute, as he later testified in words that have a particular resonance today. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote that in 1785 and 1786 he unsuccessfully "endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation." Jefferson argued that "The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace." Jefferson prepared a detailed plan for the interested states. "Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association," Jefferson remembered, but there were "apprehensions" that England and France would follow their own paths, "and so it fell through."

Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America's minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, "I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war." Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both." "From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, "it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them."

Jefferson's plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war. The United States's relations with the Barbary states continued to revolve around negotiations for ransom of American ships and sailors and the payment of annual tributes or gifts. Even though Secretary of State Jefferson declared to Thomas Barclay, American consul to Morocco, in a May 13, 1791, letter of instructions for a new treaty with Morocco that it is "lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever," the United States continued to negotiate for cash settlements. In 1795 alone the United States was forced to pay nearly a million dollars in cash, naval stores, and a frigate to ransom 115 sailors from the dey of Algiers. Annual gifts were settled by treaty on Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli.

When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli's demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. As he declared in his first annual message to Congress: "To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean. . . ."

The American show of force quickly awed Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli. The humiliating loss of the frigate Philadelphia and the capture of her captain and crew in Tripoli in 1803, criticism from his political opponents, and even opposition within his own cabinet did not deter Jefferson from his chosen course during four years of war. The aggressive action of Commodore Edward Preble (1803-4) forced Morocco out of the fight and his five bombardments of Tripoli restored some order to the Mediterranean. However, it was not until 1805, when an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force raised by an American naval agent to the Barbary powers, Captain William Eaton, threatened to capture Tripoli and install the brother of Tripoli's pasha on the throne, that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities. Negotiated by Tobias Lear, former secretary to President Washington and now consul general in Algiers, the treaty of 1805 still required the United States to pay a ransom of $60,000 for each of the sailors held by the dey of Algiers, and so it went without Senatorial consent until April 1806. Nevertheless, Jefferson was able to report in his sixth annual message to Congress in December 1806 that in addition to the successful completion of the Lewis and Clark expedition, "The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship."

Sorry, but Thomas Jefferson saw extreme limits on international bodies and diplomacy, having been a diplomat, himself. When dealing with threats his message as President was not pacifism, but a robust response. You cannot quote Jefferson on diplomacy without seeing his entire view of it, and it is only one part of the ability of a Nation-State to deal with problems and depending on it as the major or only tool is weakness, not strength. Strange to bring up Jefferson and diplomacy in the Middle East and not address the record...

But then it shows just the opposite of what President Obama is saying, now, doesn't it?

Because all that time you are talking you are building the power you need to make it greater. He didn't invest in talk alone or even primarily, given how fickle other Nations are. You would think a 'student of history' and 'scholar of the Constitution' would recognize this.


Ok, next up:

The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

I am glad to see President Obama standing up for Israel, now if only he would let standard upgrades to purchased equipment go through to Israel. You know, the stick up for an ally business?

As for the Palestinians, they have had decades to stand up a peaceful, law abiding State, recognize Israel, police its own borders... but they haven't. And the problem is? The Palestinians, not Israel.


A bit further:

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.

They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

So why is it when Israel pulled out of Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza that peace and happiness did not grace the Palestinian people from the heavens above? Why was it the violence started afresh against Israel from HAMAS and FATAH factions too numerous to name, plus from al Qaeda? They have their land. They aren't under occupation. They need to stand up a Nation and make a PEACE TREATY and sign off on it. But to do that would recognize that they had this chance way back in 1948 and screwed it up in a spectacular fashion while the Israelis, using old German guns and equipment left over from WWII were able to found a Nation and secure it, put down the rule of law and get international recognition.

Nothing, not one single thing, stops the Palestinians from doing that, EXCEPT the Palestinians themselves.

Israel has been attacked full-on by her Arab neighbors multiple times, and has attacked out, taken territory and then signed much of it back by Treaty. Israel is more than willing to sign Treaties to gain peace.

So what's up with the Palestinians, huh?



Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

Look, if the Lebanese during their civil war were able to stand up neighborhood republics with their own flags and uniforms, and who to talk to so as to get passage, then surely the Palestinians can figure it out for something just a bit bigger... they need to crack that whip and get everyone in line FIRST then look towards a peace treaty SECOND. You can't do it the other way around, the last 60 years have demonstrated that.

Mr. President you may not like the settlements, but that is an item on a peace treaty negotiation once Israel has a stable neighbor they can negotiate with. That is not a mandate from us: we cannot impose it as the Israelis have the typical spoils of war deal going on. Israel has been more than happy to hand over territory in negotiations with stable States. If the Israelis continue building that can be cited in the negotiations, not a pre-condition for them as Palestine STILL is not stable and can't be trusted by ANYONE. There is no 'other side' in this until it appears at the table and can hold up its end of the bargain, which has not happened since 1948. Until it does we may not like what Israel does, and it may incite violence, but if Palestinians can get a stable society and government put together they can demonstrate that, show up at the negotiating table and talk about a peace treaty. My guess is much of the early demands to go back to 1948 boundaries will go by the wayside.


Leftist historical revisionism continues:

The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.

This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government.

Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.

I have addressed Iran, previously. It went from a number of political factions at the turn of the 20th century, had the Shah as its ruler, during WWII the Shah was deposed as he was pro-Nazi, after the war democratically elected government fell into disorder and looked to have communists backed by the USSR heading towards power, the CIA put the Shah back into power. Such is the rough and ready factional system of Iran that, to this day, you can STILL find pro-monarchists in Iran. So we get no credit for taking out a Nazi sympathizer, no credit for recognizing the threat of communism, castigated for putting the TRADITIONAL ruler back in place because representative democracy was getting destabilized... do I have that right?

Do I think any of this was 'good'?


But neither would an Iran getting a light Nazi SS Group seizing the Persian Gulf oil fields be a help during WWII. Wouldn't have taken much, what with the UK already getting kicked out of place in Oceania, India under threat, and losing France... if Gulf oil started to head to Germany... well... Turkey was neutral, after all. A bit of a Wafdist uprising in Egypt and that would be it for the Middle East and the UK in 1941. No Suez, no oil from the Gulf, and this huge supply line around Africa to India and Australia. Dark days if that had happened.

Do I like the jumble of factions in Iran post-War? No. Monarchists, mercantilists, capitalists, communists, and a hodge-podge of crossing ethnicities... I wouldn't call that stable and money and backing from the USSR would have made things in the Middle East very dicey if Iran went down. Can't say there were ANY good choices, save to do the Marshall Plan bit with a nation that hadn't suffered much in the war, and the US was NOT going to buy into that. Not in a major way, at least, although something like that was going on, but not at the scale to bring Iran together as a cohesive whole.

Our intervention in Iran did not START post-WWII.

It would be wise for this 'student of history' to realize that and stop the blame game.

Instead President Obama is trying to do the 'past is history' sort of realism and that just does not work. It is unreal 'realism' to the nth degree and President Carter tried the exact, same thing. But then I criticized Obama on the campaign trail for having people who were the CAUSE of the problem advising him. And I hit all the major candidates, too. President Obama should look up 'Islamic Green Zone' and reference it to the Carter Administration: the Administration didn't know if it wanted to support the Shah, wanted to do the 'realism' tango, and was then told that Iran didn't tango. So he ended up sitting in the Rose Garden.

To be clear, Iran doesn't really care much about the US outside of military power: it told us so then, it has told us so over the decades, its actions demonstrate that, and it continues to tell us so to this day. Doesn't matter if it is Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, or Obama, it does the exact, same tune and doesn't give a hot damn about US foreign policy. That should be a large hint being dropped there.


Ok, now onto the inanity:

The fourth issue that I will address is democracy.

I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election.

We imposed democracy on Iran during WWII. It didn't work, and we put the traditional system back in place.

Somehow that doesn't get told as part of this, does it?

We did not impose representative democracy on Iraq: Iraqis drafted a constitution, voted on it, ratified it, and now run a government under it. They had a free choice of what they wanted. A dictatorship that everyone agreed to would have been swell. Ditto an oligarchy. Same with a Monarchy. A Galactic Imperial State. Playing backgammon and deciding leaders that way. Putting criminals in charge so as to remove the intervening nastiness between civil government and criminal government and going straight to a government everyone wants to shoot at to remove the criminal element.


So long as they agreed to it, wanted it, could live with it, and it offered a modicum of freedom to people there it would be loads better than Saddam Hussein's tyrannical government. Even biennial tyrants would have been ok! The US might have had qualms about many of those, true, but so long as the people want it, can live with it, it will be stable (even, if like Italy, it is stable in its constant instability), and can keep to its agreements it would be LOADS better than Saddam Hussein. We didn't install a puppet government, swap dictators (as so many Leftists wanted), or any of that. We brought together those interested in forming a government to live with and they did so. Ratified by the People of Iraq. Now it is a set of municipal, provincial and national governments that must work together. Good job!

It wasn't 'forced' on them.

They made it.

They agreed to it.

They voted on it.

They ratified it.

And they will amend it over time to better meet the needs of the Nation as it continues forward.

Glad the Iraqi people now have politics to fight over with words rather than bullets! It is a HUGE improvement!

It is an asinine thing to say that people have any sort of democratic government 'forced on them'.


They can VOTE IT OUT!

So simple a Leftist should be able to understand the concept, and I'm sure cavemen do...


Ah, religious tolerance:

The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today.

People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.

In Islam you are tolerated as a second class citizen if you pay your taxes to worship some other religion. That is under 'enlightened' Islamic rule. Indonesia is, by and large, using secular understandings of the Europeans as coming from Westphalia and the Enlightenment. Really I can't speak highly enough of what Great Britain did by bringing such understandings to the far corners of the Earth. Yup, it was an Empire. It was not all bad and did some actual bringing of civil government and law with it as it expanded. Plus Indonesia is a damned laid back place. Tropical climate, generally easy-going culture and high humidity really do change things, along with different ethnic and civil heritage than the Middle East. Has to say something where the extremists have been voted out because their rules put into law just go against the culture. That culture cannot easily be transported into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


This is a real side-splitter:

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

So why is it that the Left attacks Christianity? When was the last Methodist Terrorist attack? Presbyterian Crusade? Unitarian Radicalist Uprising? Catholics storming forward with aircraft flown into buildings? To hear the Left in America, Christianity is truly evil and everyone else is just misguided... no matter how much blood they spatter around. Preach this at home, President Obama, not about Islam but about Christianity and Judaism and how believers in THOSE FAITHS do not deserve to be castigated for CIVIL discussions they hold. Preach about Westphalia, Mr. President, as it did something that Islam didn't do until you got secular governments in Islamic countries. Governments of Westphalian origin.

Get these damned liberals to understand LIBERTY would you? And tolerance towards Christianity and Judaism? They have to deal with a lot more of those, day in and day out, than Muslims.


Good luck on the next:

The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights.

Very simple: killing women for the family's honor is dishonorable and no one should do that.


Safety at home with their own beliefs is primary, and so is walking away from their religion and not becoming a targeted apostate.

Elections do help, some, but only in a non-rigged system.

Women will not be free in the Islamic world until their cultures stop supporting honor killings. Not all Islamic cultures do, and that is to the good: that tolerance needs to spread. This is an issue of human liberty and toleration, and politics follows culture. Kuwait has just elected their first women Parliamentarians, one of which was born in Lebanon, speaks with a Lebanese accent and isn't even a Muslim. While talking about other Nations that have good systems is to the good, showing that others can adapt and change is even better. Thus Kuwait, and the crossing point of Shia and Sunni extremism now throws off BOTH with a secular government that can elect non-Muslims and women.


Going onwards, ever onwards:

Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.

I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and changing communities.

Does anyone remember Iraq? Muslim Nation, lots of ethnicities and varieties of Islam, plus Yezidi, Christians of various sorts, Jews, and followers of John the Baptist? About 29 million people, give or take? Bit of a conflict there, yes?

Remember that place?


Remember Ramadi?

War torn, battered, shuttered up at the worst of the insurgency. Do you know what the first thing the city fathers wanted done once the hostiles had been put to heel?

Was it schools? No.

Was it clean water? No.

Sewage treatment? No.

Family compound walls rebuilt? No, that was Fallujah.

Give up?

The first thing they wanted was the FACTORIES to re-open so they could RESTART the economy. Glass, steel, processed goods... electricity and fuel, of course, but they understood that with just a bit of those they could GET all the rest of the laundry list. Freaking amazing to find that just as things were quieting down in Fallujah, glass from Ramadi was being put into the windows there. You don't put glass in if you expect it to be broken...

The Middle East, along the Silk and Spice roads understand TRADE.


They pretty much INVENTED IT.

Yeah, that should be talked up, no?

Egypt was the cross-roads of Empires for centuries, be they the Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Turks: if you wanted to buy anything from Scandinavia, the southern tip of Africa or China you went to Cairo or Alexandria. Globalization has been known there back to the start of when people didn't even really get the size of the globe figured out. Cultural change IS Egypt, from Ancient times and embalming to modern times and trying to figure out how to keep everyone employed, which they can't do too well as they stopped building the Pyramids. Thank heavens or else there would be this huge pyramid that would shade Libya for half the day...

Somehow, some way, the people of the Middle East and Egypt coped with 'change'. Religions have come and gone, and Islam isn't up to the Pharaohnic time span by any way, shape or form. Hell, if Ramses II had started in power 60 years ago he would just now be in his 'last days' and he saw two entire generations grow up and die knowing only him as their leader. If Egypt could cope with Rome and Greeks, it can cope with the internet. The rest of the Middle East, particularly the followers of strict and moralist sects... they are going to have a hard time dealing with picture phones and teen 'sexting'. It has already happened and they find that they can't ban the things as they can be smuggled in pretty easily.


My good will has a stopping point, and this is it:

On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo.

On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.

On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create jobs. We will open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new Science Envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, and grow new crops.

President Obama, by your own words, we are broke.

We have to fix THAT first.

Throwing money around to other peoples will make us more broke, not less, as the system you want will make us poorer, not richer, and unable to pay our debts.

We cannot afford to create any of this with government funds: YOU have spent the money. You will not cure our ills by sending inflated dollars overseas as that will make our situation worse, not better.

And just wtf are 'social entrepreneurs'? That sounds like damned 'community organizers' and YOU are bad enough...having never had to invent anything, run any company or even know how to balance the books of a company. Not one red cent of government money for this CF. America needs to repay its debts, reduce its government and get the damned moralizing out of the equation as I am tired, damned tired, of hearing from a SECULAR President what our Nation 'must' do for other countries.

Encourage volunteerism, that is the American way.

Support it by forgiving expenditures on taxes for those that do so.

But no more of this glad-handing our money from our wallets to third world sinkholes with greedy bureaucrats and chiselers to take money from good works we send there. Private organizations can do this better than any government, anywhere on the planet can. After the 2004 Christmas Tsunami it was the American People who gave the most and our benighted government was SECOND. Everyone else was a far and distant third.

I stopped reading the goodness at that point. All the organic and green crap is just that: crap. Money traps. Feel goodism.

Beats me how the hell that played in the Middle East or amongst Muslims.

But I can tell you this President is one of the sorriest, saddest, most back-assward politicians with a tin ear and inability to read, think or reason that I have ever laid eyes on.

Yeah, he's a nice guy. So what?

They finish last.