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Bringing aid to starving people, a crime according to Israel.

The black hole that is Middle East coverage had better not suck this particular story down its greedy maw.  Israel can pretty much murder at will in the occupied territories and international media will give them a pass.  The media had better not slink to its usual spineless standards when Israeli commandos board a ship laden with humanitarian aid and kill nine innocent people.   It just had better not happen.  The CBC and Al-Jazeera report:

“Netanyahu said the Israeli soldiers had boarded one of the floatilla’s six ships to check it for weapons when they were attacked by activists with knives and clubs.

“They literally attacked the first soldiers on the ship, they were mobbed,” Netanyahu said in Ottawa, where he was meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “They were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed, there was even a report of gunfire.

“And our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives or they would have been killed,” he said.”

Ah yes, the favourite method of denying culpability.  We were only acting in self-defence.  Bullshit.   You boarded a ship with no probable cause ,in international waters no less, and in the ruckus YOU caused had to respond with deadly force and kill nine innocent people.   Wake up you murderous bastards, this is not the occupied territories where you can kill on a whim.

The aid convoy was organized in part by the Free Gaza Movement, an international group of pro-Palestinian activists that claims the Gaza blockade is a violation of international law.

Audrey Bomse, the legal co-ordinator for the Free Gaza Movement, called claims the passengers had planned to provoke the soldiers “absurd.”

“It was clearly an attack — probably a premeditated attack — by Israel upon civilians,” she told CBC News.

“These are supposed to be crack military forces. I can only assume that they wanted to intimidate people from doing this in the future.”

Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian government spokesman, said the government “condemns the brutality in which the Israeli government treated this peaceful attempt to break the siege on Gaza.”

Absolutely.  The World should be in an uproar about this gross violation of international law.  Some are already taking steps:

“The United Nations Security Council was to meet on Monday afternoon for an emergency session to discuss the matter.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassadors in their respective countries to protest against the assault.”

There are mass protests in Turkey over the murder of its citizens in international waters:

Protesters take part in a demonstration at Taksim Square in  Istanbul on Monday. About 10,000 people gathered in the Turkish capital  to protest Israel's military assault on a convoy of six aid ships.

Protesters take part in a demonstration at About 10,000 people gathered in the Turkish capital to protest Israel's military assault on a convoy of six aid ships. (Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press)

I am outraged at the audacity of Israel and the spineless response of our Western leaders.


“Canada deeply regrets this action, the loss of life and the injuries that have occurred and obviously we’ll be looking in the days that follow to get all the information we can get to find out exactly what has transpired,” Harper said following a meeting with Netanyahu.

Obama expressed “deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident and concern for the wounded,” according to a White House statement. He also expressed “the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances” surrounding the event, it said.

If this had been Iran boarding a ship in International waters and killing people, it would have been like World War 3 had just started.  Instead we get this jellyfish piffle of mindless palavers.  Inexcusable.

Intransigentia has also written cogently on this topic, catch up with her here.

Set individuality to 11!

I’ll say it straight out.  I am not a fan of Apple products.  They are easy to use, fantastic, but are they useful?  In my opinion, absolutely not.  I break technology.  I get mad, frustrated, annoyed even to the level of wanting to TISP!(*) my computers down a very dark and deep hole.  The thing is once fixed, through hard work and fair amount of luck, I know how to fix something if it breaks like that again or at least diagnose what not to do the next time.  Apple takes the me borking my hardware aspect out of computing, easier for me, but also  more limiting.  The CBC article mirrors some of my concerns.

“On one hand are the all-too-familiar complaints about pricing for the device’s 3G wireless capabilities. On the other are criticisms that Apple is trying to maintain too tight a control over what users can and can’t do with their gadgets, or that the company is trying to remake the web to its liking.”

Do not forget the requisite shaft for Canadian Broadband consumers:

“The company announced it would offer two plans, one allowing for 250 megabytes of monthly usage for $15 and another giving five gigabytes for $35. That angered potential customers, who pointed out on the company’s Redboard forum that AT&T in the United States was offering a superior plan — unlimited usage — for less money, or $30 (U.S.).

Rogers staff responded by saying that five gigabytes was more than enough usage based on its existing customers’ usage of smartphones and laptop data sticks.”

Lovely.   But unsurprising.

“Apple is maintaining similar tight control over what sort of content can go onto the iPad, and even what can be attached to it. The device lacks a CD or DVD drive, as well as a standard USB plug, which means that connecting to Apple’s iTunes through the company’s specially designed plug is the only easy way to get media onto the device.”

Steve Jobs and his for all of his proprietary bullshite can rightly be called His Most Excellent Buttplug of High Douchatude from now on.  I buy your hardware and then the only way I can put things on it is through a media pipe of your choosing.  Frack the hell off  Apple.

“The general public doesn’t think of the iPad as a device where someone other than the owner has the keys to it,” he said. “They haven’t thought, ‘Why is this allowed?’ They just think, ‘Oh, it’s a cool device.'”

And the general public is stupid.  Most of the i-crap is more about looking hip and cool.  Forget about net neutrality, open source and open access software, as long as my waste of skin peer group can identify me by my glaringly white ear buds I’m “good”.  The Apple phenomena is the hybridization of stupid people with stupid devices, profitable but ultimately not good for us.

Repackaged Trendy Shite for the Dullard Masses in 3...2...1...

(* TISP! – This Is Sparta! – boot to the chest; fall down hole)

It amazes me how sometimes, when I criticize something in religion, the defence that theists supply are just as bad or worse than my original criticism. For instance, I have often said that the sermon on the mount promotes the idea of thought crime. Thinking hateful things is the same as murder and thinking sexy things is the same as adultery. If anything could show Christian dogma to be one of totalitarian fascism rather than of love, its the idea that you can be guilty just by thinking something.

When I point this out, I often get told that the message that I OUGHT to be getting from that passage is that, in the eyes of god, a sin is a sin. Sins are all equal under god’s divine judgment.
The first time I heard this, I did a double take. Even someone who’s had their intelligence ebbed by the retarding forces of religion should be able to see the horrible consequences of that little gem. Alas, once again, my optimism and charity were quickly deflated. That person was serious. So were the great number of believers who have told me the same thing since.

So, for them, and any who happen to think along the same lines, I would like to explain why it is so horrible. By saying a sin is a sin is a sin, and they are all morally equivalent in the eyes of god, the theist is equating the suffering a shop owner feels when someone steals a piece of gum from his store to the suffering felt by a rape victim. Indeed, if two people each steal a piece of gum, the shop owner has suffered from twice as many sins against him than the rape victim, so the shopkeeper has, by Christian math, been wronged more.

While I could go on at length why this is horrendous in the worst kind of way, I think if you can’t figure it for yourself, you are beyond any help that my postings can ever hope to give. But, to my amazement, the believers aren’t stumped by this. They say ‘oh, of course, to us humans one is much worse than the other, but I’m talking about in GOD’S eyes, not ours’.

They don’t seem to realize that their answer still doesn’t make anything better. They say that their god is perfectly good and just. If that is so, any difference between humans perception and that of their god would mean a deficiency on our part. That means, according to this abhorrent little bit Christian philosophy, rape victims are WRONG when they feel worse than the robbed shopkeeper. And our justice system is WRONG to treat the rapist more severely than it treats the gum thief. For if they were a bit more like Jesus, they would see that a sin is a sin and the right thing to do is to treat them equally.

If it’s morally reprehensible that a human take a certain view (like candy burglary is as bad as rape) then it would be just as revolting if a sky faerie took that view. So, not only does this sermon on the mount establish the ground rules for thought crime, it also, thanks to the defence posited by Christians, shows their god to be a despicable and morally bankrupt entity that belittles the suffering those who have endured the worst of crimes.

I get a few hits from objectivists now and then, I figure I’d throw another post up detailing how silly Atlas Shrugged actually is when looked at err…objectively.   :)

Shamelessly ripped from the Randzapper blog.

Greed builds a stronger society. Uh-oh...

“But let’s take a closer look. Here are a few political, economic, cultural, and other developments that Atlas failed to foresee:

A period of prosperity commencing in the late ’50s and continuing, with only minor downturns, until the present day. (Atlas foresaw a Great Depression.)

The information revolution – personal computers, the Internet, and loathsome little blogs like this one. (In Atlas, people are still banging away on typewriters and getting their news from newsreels.)

The outsourcing of basic manufacturing industries to Third World countries, and the rise of a service- and information-based economy. (Sayonara, Rearden Steel.)

The eclipse of rail travel by the airline industry, and the eclipse of cargo trains by the trucking industry. (Happy trails, Taggart Transcontinental.)

The ubiquity of television. (Galt’s speech is broadcast mainly on the radio. There is a passing reference to television, but TV does not play any role in the story. This is especially odd since TV was already well established by 1957.)

Americans’ mass immigration to the Sunbelt and the West. (In Atlas, all the financial and commercial action is in New York City and its surrounds. The West is a lot of open desert, suitable for running train tracks through. Colorado is so empty that a whole valley can be hidden there, unknown to the outside world. The South does not appear to exist at all.)

New directions in science. (Gene-splicing, quantum theory, string theory or any equivalents are absent from Atlas, which presents a scientific community still mired in Newtonian assumptions.)

The demise of hats. (Nobody wears hats anymore. In Atlas, everybody does.)

Now, suppose someone had told Ayn Rand fifty years ago, on the day of her book’s triumphant debut, that over the next five decades there would be a significant growth of government spending, taxes, regulations, and controls … and that in the same period of time, there would be unprecedented prosperity, an unrivalled explosion of scientific and technological knowledge, and a blossoming of freedom around the world.

Would she have believed it? No way. In high dudgeon she would have insisted that such an outcome was logically untenable, entailing fatal contradictions.

Yet that’s exactly what has happened.

So … Happy Birthday, Atlas. Enjoy your cake and punch. But don’t party too hearty.

Frankly, dear … you’re showing your age.”

I’ve been on a bit of a roll as of late with how mind numbingly moronic religion is.  The Draw Mohammad silliness, assorted catholic inanity and christianity in general.  This is a take down video about a dude name ‘truthful christian’ who has an amazing tendency to get even the most basic of concepts wrong.  TC uses his ignorance like a shield, warping arguments and facts to fit his own particularly deluded universe.

Consider yourself warned, the stupid upcoming is nuclear grade.

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – “A skateboarder using an electronic device didn’t get to the other side of the road.

Witnesses and the driver told police that a male on the skateboard was looking down at an electronic device when he was crossing the street outside the crosswalk.

Bobby-Joe Takes choice two from the saying "Skate or Die".

They say the driver tried to stop his vehicle, but couldn’t avoid colliding with the skateboarder.

Austin John Lawrence, 18, is charged under the Traffic Safety Act with crossing a roadway at a point other than a crosswalk and failing to yield to a motor vehicle on the roadway.

The fine for the traffic violation is $57.”

This story warms my heart.  I am bombard with stories about the digital age and being wired and social networking.  How about this being a cautionary tale for those who think they can text and drive?  Multi-tasking is just another word for doing multiple things poorly.

Stop it.

Do people actually take Glen Beck seriously?

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