A Voice for Reason

Welcome! If you are like me, you see the world through rational eyes. This Blog is a place for me to rant about the irrationality around us in the world. Feel free to comment, debates are welcome. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Net Neutrality is Dangerous!

A friend of mine sent out a blanket e-mail today that covered the topic of "net neutrality." It made me take a few minutes to look into this whole topic. My visit to the land of "internet freedom" was surreal to say the least.

First of all, it appears that there are huge numbers of supporters for many of the, so called, "net neutrality" bills before congress this year. Go ahead and search Google or any other major search engine, and you will find endless pages of web-sites supporting a bill to protect the freedom of the internet. But what are they protecting, exactly? Has anyone stopped to dig a little deeper? It isn't hard, all you have to do is check out the text of some of the bills at Congress.org or go straight to the Senate page or the House of Representatives page.

Google's Net Neutrality site claims that "
Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet." While this sounds good to begin with, it goes on to blatantly lie about what's really going on in Congress by saying, "the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress's permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet." (italics mine) Wait just a minute ... why on earth would companies be trying to get congress to pass a law that would inhibit it's customers? That just doesn't make any sense. And don't get me started on the whole asking for "permission" bit! Just the idea that we have to ask the government for permission to do anything is completely against the principals of America.

Actually, if you take a look, there have never actually been (aside from a few minor glitches that were quickly repaired) any broadband carriers or ISPs that have "blocked, impaired or otherwise restricted subscriber access to the content of unaffiliated entities." With this in mind, why are so many people trying to get a bill passed to protect their "internet freedom?" What we have here is a terrifying step toward another infringement of our rights. In this particular case, it is the ISP's right to free speech. In particular, the ISP's right to descriminate in the matter of what they allow to be transmitted through their service. The bills before congress essentially compel the ISPs to allow any and all "legal" material to be broadcast over it's network. This may seem logical, but it's inherently immoral.

Say you wanted to give a speech about the fundamentals of Christianity, and you wanted to do it in the local mosque. I think we can all agree that this would be next to impossible, unless it was a very progressive mosque. The owners of the mosque would no doubt deny your access to this space and probably make a few other choice comments about your sanity as well. Under a law of this kind, it would be impossible for the owners of the mosque to stop your speech on Christianity.

Maybe that doesn't quite get your attention. How about this. This type of law would be equivalent to one that required you to open your doors to the public and allow anyone to enter off the street any time they wished to used a telephone. You would not be able to charge extra them if it were a long distance call, and you would not be able to censor their comments because that would be "descrimination." Does that make a little more sense?

Take some time out of your busy day to write to your Senators and Representatives and tell them to ditch the "Net Neutrality" bills before it's too late. You never know what liberties you'll have to give up next!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cease-Fire - Peace-Fire - Schmeace-Fire

HELLO!!? Is anyone out there thinking? What is going on with this world today? Why are the Israelis the bad guys all of a sudden?

It’s a shame how quickly we forget our history. It’s also a shame how far we’ve sunk when we you see how we no longer advocate the rights of free men and support savages who wish to destroy us. Obviously, no one in the Washington has their head on straight. But hey, we’ve known that for years. The press … the so called “intellectuals” and their ilk are, not surprisingly, choosing to side with the savages. So what about the rest of us? Where do you stand? Do you have an opinion on the matter or are you just another of those who listens to the sound bites and makes that their opinion? I have an opinion on this matter, and I’m going to share it.
It is evident to me that the west is refusing to look at the big picture in this conflict in the Middle East. As the “war” between Israel and Hezbollah enters its third week of violence, the public support of Israel defending itself has gone from slim to none. Even Bush and his administration are now throwing their weight around in an attempt to gain a cease fire in Lebanon. A cease fire is, of course, exactly what Hezbollah and their supporters desire in this case. Not because they’re tired of their “innocent civilians” being killed, but because they’re tired of having their asses handed to them by the “infidels” and they need the time to regroup so that they can launch more sneak attacks on Israel.
What’s that? You don’t believe me? Come on now, open your eyes to the reality of the situation. A cease fire really only has one goal, and it’s the same one that you had when you were playing dodge ball or foot ball or baseball as a child. You don’t call a time out because you’re sorry for competing. A time out is called because you need time to regroup so that you can turn the tide of the competition. A cease fire is the same way. It’s funny that no one seems to be talking about the cease fires of the 20th Century that were disastrous. Let’s just take a look at the big ones for a moment, starting with that wonderful cease fire in 1939 and 1940. War had been declared between the France and Nazi Germany for months and yet little fighting went on. The French had the upper hand militarily because Hitler’s troops were busy invading and wiping out Poland. Did the French hand-wringers do anything to end the bloody conflict? Did they fight for their rights as individuals? Hell no! They did what the Frogs always do … they waved at the Krauts swimming in the Rhine and the Krauts waved back.
Did this cease-fire lead to peace? Of course not, it did just what it was supposed to do (what they always do). It aided the aggressor. When Hitler was done mopping up the Poles, he turned his attention back to France. Suddenly, Germany had the upper hand and Blitzkrieged its way into France. It only took six weeks for France to be in the hands of the aggressors.
Of course, by 1945, the Allies had pushed Germany and Japan back to their original territories. At this point, no doubt, the United Nations (had it existed) would have called for a cease-fire. Kofi Anan would have probably pointed out that the American response was wholly “disproportionate” because the Germans had never landed on America’s shores and was no threat to the United States anymore. A negotiated settlement would save “innocent civilians” from dying.
Thank goodness there was no UN back then. Fortunately we attacked and took the aggressors all the way back to their homes and demanded unconditional surrender. The bloodshed was great and the loss of life was enormous, but the victory was complete and in the end freedom was done. Hitler and Tojo would have loved to negotiate a settlement with the Allies. It would have given them time to regroup. They perhaps would have been able to create those nuclear bombs that they’d been working on. Maybe Germany would have shared their jet engine technology with the Japanese or their rocket technology. In either case, the aggressors would have returned.
There are further examples of cease-fires creating a shambles of the peace process. Take a gander at North Korea for example. They’ve been in a cease-fire for 51 years, and they’ve used that time to the best of their ability. The money and aid that has been sent to their communist regime in the name of human rights has been spent in developing nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver those weapons to many places around the world. The humanitarian movements, and their aid, have allowed a state to survive when it undoubtedly would have died under its irrational government. It’s been proven time and again that communism and socialism are the quickest ways to starve a nation. Why didn’t we just let it happen? Because the hand wringers didn’t want to stand by and watch “innocent civilians” die.
You may have noticed that I keep placing quotes around “innocent civilians.” There is a reason for it. The reason is that I don’t believe that any of these people can be called innocent. Anyone who allows or supports the causes of irrationality has made a choice. The National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany; the Communists in North Korea; and the Islamo-fascists in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran all made a commitment to irrational policies of destruction. Those policies led to the destruction of the Nazis and would have led to the destruction of the North Koreans and Muslim extremists had it not been for the support of the hand wringers screaming for cease-fire after cease-fire, concession after concession of those of us defending our right to life.
The so called “Peace Movements” have done more to destroy the chances of peace than anything else. The absence of conflict is not the same thing as peace. Only through an unwavering conviction that men are entitled to life and liberty can peace be achieved. Supporting a culture that demands the destruction of men’s rights is surely a way to destroy peace. When the hand-wringers discover that Israel is the first front in World War III, let’s hope that they don’t answer with “CEASE-FIRE NOW” as they have been for the last three weeks. Lets hope that the rational people of the world will respond with “DEFEND OUR RIGHTS NOW!”

Sunday, July 30, 2006

There Goes the Revolution

Originally posted on 20 July 2006 on blog.myspace:

So, there I was doing another of those silly Google searches where you type in your name and an incomplete sentence and see what comes up. Today's mindless googling consisted of "Dennis was arrested for...." Of course, I was a little shocked to find that "[I] was arrested for violating the Smith Act. (of 1940 which made it an offense to advocate or belong to a group that advocated the violent overthrow of the government)." Intrigued, I search on to discover exactly what kind of 1st ammendment destruction was going on here. The law that I discovered was the Alien Registration Act of 1940, more commonly known as the "Smith Act," that prohibits associating with, arguing for, printing articles, etc., that encourage or support the overthrow of the government of the United States. So, uh, now I can't even joke about having a revolution anymore? But what about my freedom of speech? What? You should know that we don't have rights anymore, we only have privileges that are temporarily granted by the government and whatever majority has voted them in. Interestingly enough, this act was passed in 1940 when FDR told the Congress what to do, and they did it. Hmmm, still think of FDR as the savior of the American way and a champion of human rights?

Addendum (30 July 2006): My brother was quick to point out that the act actually only prohibits the violent overthrow of the government of the United States. I love my brother, he is always so good about noticing those little details that I omit. Well, it's true, the "violent" overthrowing of the government is prohibited (talking or writing about it too). So, I suppose that we could find a way to overthrow the Democratic People's Republic of America without being violent. Hmmm ... any ideas?

This is the brief text of the Smith Act as it reads in the US Code:

Smith Act of 1940

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Alien Registration Act of 1940, usually called the Smith Act because the antisedition section was authored by Representative Howard W. Smith of Virginia, was adopted at 54 Statutes at Large 670-671 (1940). The Act has been amended several times and can now be found at 18 U.S. Code § 2385 (2000).

§ 2385. Advocating Overthrow of Government.

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof--

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As used in this section, the terms "organizes" and "organize", with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Independence Day

4 July 2006
Castine, Maine

North Korea is such a friendly and caring nation that today, it sent, not one, not two … but three missiles into the air over Japan to help us celebrate our independence. Unfortunately, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a little behind on the technology front so their missiles fell short of the middle of the Pacific and landed in the Sea of Japan instead. But that’s okay. It’s the thought that counts anyway. Right?

It came as a bit of a shock to Japanese and American Intelligence folks when they observed the three fizzled out firecrackers shooting off in the dawn skies over Japan. “Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise if anyone knew about it!” Said one North Korean Government official. It seems that the Japanese were quick to respond to the failed fireworks display, apparently misunderstanding the peaceful and generous nature or the showing. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe told a news conference in Tokyo, that he was “concerned about the inconsiderate behavior of those people in that country,” and that, “if they aren’t careful we will raise the level of our protest from ‘sternly’ to ‘severely!’”

The American spokesmen were “stunned” at the news of the launches. According to the director of Globalsecurity.org, John Plke (the most senior U.S. Spokesman to be reached by the Reuters Foundation), “It got everybody's attention on the Fourth of July. (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-Il can set off fireworks, too ….” With all the excitement of America’s preparations for the 230th anniversary of its Independence, it seemed that the surprise launches didn’t fail to reach the ears of President George W. Bush. He mentioned to the press that he was “surprised at Korea’s friendly gift on our nation’s birthday” and that he would welcome returning a gift to the Communist government if they would be kind enough to give us a valid forwarding address. It appears as if America’s repeated requests to have diplomatic relations with the North Koreans have fallen on deaf ears; not out of disrespect, but because of a failure in the Stalinist country’s antiquated postal system.

Reports from The International Community spokesmen were scattered, but they seemed to be feeling “unstable” and that their will had been “defied.” Unfortunately, these reports cannot be corroborated until the location of The International Community has been found.

North Korea’s Leader, Kim Jong-Il, decided to choose this moment to briefly end his reclusive behavior and speak directly to the American people. “North Korea is vely, vely, grad that the United States has been so supportive of us over the rast several decades. It is a testament to youl glaciousness. We all vely tankfull that you have forgotten your own founding plincipals and have embraced a phirosophy that is mole simirar to our own. If Amelica had never abandoned its plincipals in the earry 20th Centuly, North Korea would never have rasted as rong as it has. For that we, the Democlatic Peopre’s Lepubric of Kolea, are eternarry glatefull.”

Help! The Israelis are Coming!

19 July 2006
Castine, Maine

The cry of the moment from the streets of Palestine and Lebanon is, “Please help us! The Israelis are attacking us!” In a surprising turn of events, the people of Israel are actually defending their rights. No, not just the rights of the many, but the rights of every individual citizen. Those rights are, and have been threatened by incessant attacks by the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah. With bombs, and rockets and suicide bombers the lives of Israelis have been snuffed out for no other reason than the Islamic dogma that screams for the death of the infidels.
For years, the attacks of these fundamentalists were retaliated against by Israel, and they were kept in check. But ever since the United States orchestrated that cartographic feat, known fondly as the “Roadmap to Peace,” the attacks have grown in number and severity. Of course, the governments of Palestine and Lebanon have been given validity by the United States and President George W. Bush, through the process of democracy. This validation gives them a free hand to carry out terrorist acts while still maintaining the authority of a legitimate government. What a wonderful treat for these terrorists. Now the terrorist lovers the world over can love them in the open. No more slinking about in dark rooms quietly damning the U.S. and its pro-Israel policies. That certainly makes it easier for the world to scream about Israeli atrocities when it’s painfully obvious that Hamas and Hezbollah are clearly the provocateurs.
The New York Times reports today that “France and the European Union (isn’t France part of the EU?) … are guilty of “disproportionate use of force” in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and of “collective punishment” of the civilian populations.” This argument is, of course, ridiculous. The Israelis are fighting against these terrorists and the governments who support them and legitimize them. The terrorists are behaving like the dog that thinks he’s bigger than he is. He picks fights with the bigger dogs all the time, but as soon as the big dog bites back, he runs and hides beneath his master’s legs barking all the way. Of course, the master is just as bad in this case, in that he tries to defend his little dog’s actions and condemn the big dog for biting back. Lebanese and Palestinian government officials have been screaming for the world to react to the Israeli aggression. Much to the chagrin of these governments, it appears that no one is listening. People are listening though, and they’re adding their voices to the screams for immediate cease fire. Unfortunately, for the terrorists, it seems that the voices can’t be heard over the din of Israeli artillery and bombs crashing down in the streets of Gaza and Beirut. I guess the world has forgotten that voices don’t do anything to stop bullets and bombs.
The U. S. is in a tenuous political situation in this conflict. George W. Bush seems content to stand by the Israelis’ right to defend themselves, but he seems to have forgotten that he’s part of the reason for the legitimacy of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region. His mistake – and the mistake of many Americans – of equating democracy with freedom have allowed these terrorists the ability to be legitimately elected by a majority vote. Don’t think that they aren’t appreciative of this misunderstanding either. As a spokesman for Hamas, following its electoral victory, correctly noted: "I thank the United States that they have given us this weapon of democracy. . . . It's not possible for the U.S. . . . to turn its back on an elected democracy" (emphasis added by me). All these enemies of America--Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiites--abhor freedom, while adopting the procedure of democratic voting. So now, America must either reevaluate its position regarding democracy – a useful euphemism for dictatorship by mob – or it must jump on that little band wagon that’s being driven by most of the nations in the European Union, Russia, Middle Eastern theocracies, and the rest of the screaming mob running in fear from the evil Israelis and their “disproportionate use of force.”
While this approach would probably appeal to many people, especially of the liberal bent, it would be one of the most horrible mistakes that America could make. Right now, Israel has the moral obligation to protect the rights of its citizens. If the Americans truly value freedom, they should fully support Israel and its actions against the aggressors, whose avowed goal is to destroy the Israeli state. If the people of Lebanon and Palestine choose to elect a government that supports the annihilation of Israel and the individual rights of man, then they should accept the consequences of their actions. Those whose rights are violated by such people should accept the responsibility of defending those rights with whatever force is necessary. If either party can’t accept the reality of the situation, then they will face the consequences of their denial and their irrationality.