Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reader's comment on Hamas, Gaza, and Israel

I got an email from someone ("David Harris") urging that I post a certain message regarding Hamas. I generally don’t post entire stories by others (the speaker’s intention as to copyright wasn’t entirely clear) but here is the web reference that he wants everyone to see about Hamas, link.  I believe that this is the "David Harris Blog". 

He says that the Huffington Post turned his article down as “not for us”.  Here is his conclusion:

So, let's be clear. The flotilla participants, whether they acknowledge it or not, are handmaidens of a terrorist regime. That regime, not Israel, is responsible for the conditions in Gaza, which may not be enviable, but are a far cry from the dire picture of starvation and stunted growth painted by the hyperbolic spokesmen. 

“Israel has only one concern, which is to ensure that Hamas, a declared enemy of Israel, does not get additional means to threaten its neighbor. That's it, pure and simple. 

“As has been said, if Hamas laid down its weapons, there would be peace. If Israel laid down its weapons, there would be no Israel. 

“The flotilla participants claim their mission is nothing more than humanitarian, but, in reality, it serves the interests of a regime that espouses terrorism, peddles anti-Semitism, and praises the memory of Osama Bin Laden. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

CNN presents "Online Warrios of the Arab Spring", where as Ben Stein and Mark Z play devil's advocate

iRevolution: The Online Warriors of the Arab Spring” aired on CNN (as part of its “Presents” series) June 19, and explored the role that the Internet, especially citizen journalism and blogging, took in the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain.  Was the “Arab spring” the “Facebook Revolution”? Or would it have happened anyway? Look back into history, particularly the collapse of communist regimes that occurred before the Internet.

CNN’s text article (with many videos) adds Syria, Yemen and, of course, Libya to the mix.

The fact that governments need to suppress speech by imprisoning bloggers or turning off Internet access (as in Egypt) would, by all common sense, give away their illegitimacy.

Will the Internet eventually undermine what appears to westerners the authoritarian nature of Islam?  It’s always been a contradiction that, while the doctrine that law and religion are inseparable sounds authoritarian, actual control of the faith is, compared to other religions, quite decentralized.

Ben Stein, however, doesn’t trust the “Arab Spring”.  Hear his remarks on YouTube on CBS (not embeddable), link

Zuckerberg, in this video from Reuters, says (starting at 1:36) that it would be arrogant for a technology company to claim credit for an international revolution like this.  It took the people for it to happen.

After all, it's possible to say that some of the Arab Spring was instigated by WikiLeaks, too. Assange is another "ruler of the world," and more arrogant.

Remember, President Obama had met with Zuckerberg, as well as chiefs from Google and Apple (but not Microsoft) shortly after the "Arab Spring" started. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greek default now previews our own debt ceiling defaults in August


ABC News World News Tonight, with reporter Jake Tapper, reported “in plain English” on how a default by Greece, which is already happening, could affect the US economy and security markets.

American banks are indirectly exposed to the risk of Greek bond defaults because of their labyrinthine relationships with European banks.  Furthermore, a full default by Greece could be followed by other countries (Portugal, Ireland, maybe Spain).  American banks would have to raise mortgage and other interest rates quickly, and more US layoffs could occur because of European problems, stalling the recovery further.

It’s ironic to hear discussion of the effect of the Greek default now six weeks before “GOP to Country: drop dead” on our own debt ceiling. ABC news also has a video on the Treasury’s “auction room”.
Greece is facing riots because of the draconian nature of its cuts, including those of salaries of government workers.  Comparable cuts in the US would affect social security and Medicare beneficiaries now.

Michael Murray provides the reports.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ACLU warns supporters about Worldwide War provision of National Defense Authorization Act

The ACLU called me this morning, from phone number “000-000-0000”, about legislation in the Senate, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing the president to send troops to war wherever there is a terrorism suspect. The bill was called “Worldwide War Authorization”.  It does not have an S number yet.  (The cell phone call had been tried several times before it would connect, since Monday. The caller started by saying that this was not a request for a donation but a specific request to call a senator.)

The ACLU’s link for  contacting senators about the bill (to oppose it) is (website url) here

There is a somewhat hysterical Wordpress blog posting claiming that Obama’s promise to veto a bill giving him dictatorial powers over war (website url) here

Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks about the matter in May 2011.

I guess Bob Woodward is right about “Obama’s War”.  See my books blog Oct. 10, 2010.

(I generally contact members of Congress only when I have some detailed analysis to offer, not usually just to support or oppose specific bills, because there are so many of them.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Syrian affair: could anonymous speakers make things more dangerous for real people?

More stories appear about the fictitious “gay blogger” from Syria, “Amina Arraf”, who turns out to be a straight man from Georgia, shortly after reporting that “she” had been hauled away by Syrian authorities, ending a blog that had gone on for some years as like an installment novel, maybe a movie.

Monica Hesse as a summary commentary on the Washington Post this evening here

Do anonymous speakers playing games could put real people in danger overseas? Or did straight man Tom MacMaster also has raised the ante for authoritarian governments?  Just why do they fear dissent from people whom they pronounce as weak and inconsequential?  Their own oppression just proves their points.

As a blowback, another imposter blogger has been “exposed” as the editor of Lez Get Real is a heterosexual man from Ohio.  

Anonymity is still a major component of the asymmetry on the web. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

France bans mention ofo Facebook and Twitter on TV

The media report this morning that France has banned television stations from promoting themselves on Facebook and Twitter, or apparently any companies from doing so when advertising on broadcast networks. The government wants companies to give ailing smaller networks a chance!  

Is this for real?