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Pastor Contradicts Jesus: Burns Qur’an, Fuels Afghani Extremist Rhetoric

2 Apr

Pastor Jones: If you have hate in your heart, let it out

It’s not about the right to burn a Qur’an. Of course he has that right. But as someone who claims to be a man of faith, I don’t see how this is productive at all.  He is clearly trying to bring attention to himself. He is not representative of Americans and he does not have a following. He has been in the media spotlight only because of the absurdity of his logic and the controversy surrounding his actions.  
 
We’re supposed to be educated and civilized Americans that believe in respect. This ‘pastor’ certainly isn’t responsible for the deaths in Afghanistan as a result of the book burning. However, his actions (in combination with the irresponsible media and the gullible people that keep on eating the tripe the spew), are empowering a radical group of people that believe in a very radical brand of Islam. These actions are fueling thugs and extremists and playing into their hands. They know that they only way they can continue to recruit and grow stronger is if they perpetuate the myth that America is waging a new Crusade against Islam. These thugs will do whatever they can to stifle debate, kill anyone that gets in their way, and make sure that no compromises are never made. Purity in the name of extremism is an awfully dangerous thing.  
 
We must fight extremism with our intellect and we must understand that we are completely desensitized to shock value. Yes, it is clearly silly to us that burning a bound book is just a way for us to excercise our freedom to do so. However, to uneducated Afghanis that will believe anything that is told to them, they probably think there are thousands of Americans who are burning Qur’ans all over the streets plotting how they can completely destroy Islam and kill all the followers. Believe me… if people can be convinced that real estate is always a great investment in America, the uneducated, iliterate, and jobless in Afghanistan can be convinced that there is an American plot to Crusade against Islam.

We all certainly have the right to burn a Koran. If the day comes where someone tries to take that right away, I will be the first one to light one up. However, in the meantime, I’m not going to excercise my right to be grossly disrespectful to anyone or any group just because I can.  
Believe me when I say it… Moderate Muslims, secularists, and women are depending on us to show some restraint.   
Click here to read more.

Is America Responsible for Free Speech Limitations by Tyrants in the Middle East?

30 Mar

For the good of the sultan!

As more Middle Eastern Kings, Sultans, and “Presidents” face mass protests and dissent, one of the first moves is to shut off access to the internet. Between Twitter, Facebook, and emails, it is much easier to share ideas, rally protests, and come up with strategies to topple oppressive regimes. Though the heads of State know that it isn’t enough to quash a rebellion, they do know that limiting access to websites enable them to put up hurdles and to unabashedly disseminate their own slanted version of the ‘truth.’

So are Americans to blame for this practice? GIVE ME A BREAK. We originally developed these technologies to keep middle school perverts from looking at porn in school. Now, almost every company out there blocks access to sites like youtube at the workplace to make sure productivity levels stay afloat. Is it immoral for American companies to sell their products to these oil baron Kings? It’s about time the left wing of this country stops blaming American ingenuity and creativity for the actions of tyrants. McAffe doesn’t censor people, tyrants censor people.

For more information, visit WSJ.com for the article.

Modern Libyan History: Western Involvement

28 Mar

It's this big! I swear!

The BBC published an excellent article that retraces foreign influence in Libya since 1911. Nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

Here are some highlights:

  • Italy’s Mussolini-led Fascist regime invaded Libya in 1911 to destabilize the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the territory. This led to over 2 decades of rebellion against the Italians. Over 100,000 Libyans were sent to concentration camps as a result. Thousands were killed.
  • After WWII, there was a plan in place that would have allowed Britain, France, and Italy (yes, the same country that oppressed Libya for decades). The U.S. intervened to prevent this from happening. Instead, the US used it’s influence to form an Air Force base outside of Tripoli. The based was deemed to be strategically necessary to combat the Soviet influence
  • From 1950 to 1969, Libya was ruled by a King though still considered a British Protectorate. UK and US controlled Libya’s defense and foreign policies
  • Col. Qadaffi seized power in 1969. The Brits wanted to send in 007 to take out Qaddafi. Even though he nationalized oil production, the United States was okay with him in power because they felt he would be a reliable leader to counter Soviet influence.
  • The US abandoned its Libyan based in 1970

Will Tech Advances Destroy American Values?

26 Mar

 

NYT published an article today regarding cell phones and privacy. After a German politician took his cell phone company to court (T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom), he found out that over a 6-month span, the company recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates 35,000+ times.

Already, in the US, law enforcement uses phone records, locations, and saved conversations for cases ranging from drug trafficking to terrorism. Now combine that information with closed circuit TVs, traffic cameras, automated toll payment systems, and IP addresses, and you can learn a lot about someone; both useful and intrusive.

So what’s the big deal? If you have nothing to hide, what’s the problem? If you keep on sending pictures of your penis to strangers, do you think you really have the right to complain about privacy?

Here’s the thing… we rely on data mining technology companies for cell phone service and internet access. Of course there is going to be some sacrifice of privacy when a private company handles sensitive data.  But here is what I fear:

Technology induced police laziness How many of you have gotten a traffic camera ticket for running a red light? At what point will computers and surveillance systems be able to police our every move? If they have the sound and video records for EVERYTHING you do, how difficult will it be for the government to satisfy its burden of proof? As private companies expand on these technologies, won’t there be an incentive to bolster this kind of policing due to profit motive?

Doctoring of data Photoshop, video editing, and splicing can make people appear to be doing or saying something that they aren’t doing. As these kinds of programs are getting more and more complicated, how can we be sure that Google or whoever else isn’t planting data to suppress their competitors or political opponents? If the police subpoena AT&T for my cell phone records or longitudinal whereabouts, how can we authenticate that information reliably?

Revolution to stop tyranny With the widespread unrest in Arabia, I can’t help to think what would happen if a truly tyrannical regime or party were able to take power in the United States. To be clear, revolution would be clearly justified to restore the US Constitution and our form of governance. But how would patriots on the righteous side of the fight be able to overtake a government that knows exactly who you are, what you are saying, and where you are? Maybe it wouldn’t be that direct… What’s to stop the tyrannical regimes propaganda wing from feeding the masses lies about their opponents?

Arab Chaos: What should the United States do?

24 Mar

Subsidize our revolution. We'll be moderate. I PROMISE!

 

I must say, it is great seeing people protesting all over North Africa and the Middle East. Tyrannical despots and their cronies are a dime a dozen in that part of the world and it is certainly nice to know that they haven’t completely broken the collective spirit of their peoples. As a Tea Party Patriot, it excites me to know that Muslim societies have the ability to demand accountability from the oppressive regimes that do whatever they can to suppress freedom. However, this is where the excitement stops. The United States has stretched itself thin and probably cannot afford to allot too many resources to respond to every situation. Though it would be unwise of us to put our hands up and say we are broke, our decision makers have to make sure they have a strategy in place to both encourage democracies and stability (while thinking about the federal coffers). Steady energy supplies, good faith business dealings, and cultural exchanges with the region should be a goal. However, as ripe as the seemingly democratic movements are, we are completely clouded with uncertainty.

Like it or not, our long-term support of oppressive regimes puts us in a bit of a pickle. Our two main reasons for supporting dictators were to 1) continue to the steady supply of oil [for the PC readers out there, energy is a great reason to have ties to a region] and 2) Israel’s security. Here is a quick rundown of how I think we should triage:

Tunisia and Algeria are not particularly relevant to us. Yes, we would like to see those countries embrace democratic reforms, but neither is particularly a hotbed of extremism. Those countries have a lot of influence by their former European colonial rulers and their moderate Arab counterparts (i.e. Morocco).

Egypt is probably the only fully self-sustaining revolution. By rejecting Mubarak’s calls to suppress the protestors at all costs, the Egyptian military showed that it has restraint. Further, by working towards non-constricting temporary security state while respecting constitutional reforms, for now, they’ve proven themselves to be a model for other protestors. However, Egypt has also received a lot of support from the US over the last 3 decades. Also, the country is also a major tourist destination. These two elements enabled Egypt to be much more advanced as a society and much more tolerant.

Libya is just a mess. At first, it seemed like the rebellion was well-organized and that they uprising might have been able to overthrow Qaddafi on its own. But then reality struck. It is always much easier to launch an offensive than it is to maintain positions. Now, we don’t really know whether the Pro-Qaddafi loyalists are sincere and we certainly don’t know whether the rebellion can be relied upon to respect democratic principles and human rights. Also, President Obama rashly joined an international coalition that is about assertive as a 15 year old girl with self-esteem issues. We don’t know if the UN, NATO, or any other coalition of countries will actually take over the no-fly zone. More likely than not, we are going to be stuck in a larger role than we wanted to be in. With troops and resources already committed to Iraq and Afghanistan, I can’t image this sits well. Can we really afford to spend billions of extra $$ on an uncertain military intervention with no end in sight?

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen pose the greatest threat. Every President from the last three decades has a picture holding hands with the Saudi King or some Prince. Our oilmen are responsible for developing and maintaining their oil fields. American energy companies rely heavily on the access the Saudi royal family provides. We have a military personnel, equipment, and bases in the country as well. Unfortunately, we also support their Wahhabist repressive regime both directly and indirectly. How would we respond to a Saudi revolution? Who would we support? Another country that is in a similar position (but a much smaller scale) is Bahrain. We have a strategic naval fleet that can respond to much of South Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Sinai stationed over there. There is a serious risk of revolution. Yemen is a little bit different. Yemen is not developed like Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. They have also been a hotbed of extremism and a launching point for terrorism on the West. We are probably in the stickiest situation on the Arabian Peninsula. We’ve actively supported some of the most brutal regimes in the world, allowed them to get extremely rich from their vast oil reserves, and more importantly, have indirectly contributed to the power grip of totalitarian regimes.

Please continue to read Muslim Tea Party Patriots for more analysis on the Middle East. For a summary of what is going on in North Africa and the Middle East, click here.

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