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March 21st, 2015
10:47 pm

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Elephant Genocide
Today, I discovered the depressing information that in 1990 there were 10 million elephants in the world; today there are around 0.5 million.

In other words, in just 25 years -- one generation for both Humans and Elephants-- 95% of Elephantkind has been exterminated.  Mostly by us.

Stop and think about the implications of this.  Elephants are highly-intelligent, probably sapient animals.  They are not all that much less intelligent than are we ourselves.  They have complex social structures, and their groups maintain contact with one another across at least dozens of miles by means of infrabass vocalizations.  We know very little about the details of their communication systems, but they almost certainly have at least a complex non-syntactic language; they may well have syntactic languages like our own.  They make roads, dig wells and mines, and engage in numerous other forms of complex behavior.

They are beings who arguably have a moral claim to our respect as our fellow-sapients, and we have subjected them to what can only be called genocide.  Why?  For two principal reasons.  We desire their ivory, and we desire their lands for farming.

How much would any human culture be shattered by death on such a scale?  How damaged would be the sanity of the survivors?  There is evidence that the new generations of elephants have reduced empathy and are becoming abnormally-violent, both towards each other and toward other animals.

When the men of this age are judged by the future, this shall not be held to be among the least of our sins.

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March 18th, 2015
07:03 am

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Israelis Decide to Live: Return Netanyahu's Coalition to Power

Yesterday, Israeli voters faced an important choice.  They could vote out Bibi Netanyahu's Likud Party and thus win approval from American and European leaders -- at the price of putting the future of their country and people at the not-so-tender mercies of the Islamists, with their only hope being that said American and European leaders would meaningfully back Israel up against her foes.  Or they could vote them back in, thus retaining control of their own destiny, and putting the future of their country in the strong and trustworthy hands of the Israeli Defense Force.  To put it another way, they could choose between death -- with the approval of an increasingly anti-Semitic West who might, if gracious, allow in those former Israelis fortunate enough to escape the Muslim Holocaust with their lives; or life -- with the disapproval of Barack Obama and his cronies.

Israel chose life.

Netanyahu is back in office.  His popular support has been confirmed, his coalition stronger than ever.  He has explicitly stated now that he will never allow the creation of a Palestinian state on his watch.  He won against the opposition of Obama, who sent his stooge Jeremy Bird over to organize V15, an ACORN-like group which attempted to fix the elections by busing in Arab voters.  Notably, he won against the near-total opposition of the Israeli Arabs -- which means that he need not take their tender sensibilities into account when setting future policy.

Now, Israel has a chance.  The Iranians still do not have the Bomb, and with the election out of the way, Netanyahu need not worry about domestic political opposition for some time.  With his warning to the US Congress fresh in everyone's mind, Netanyahu is well-positioned in terms of American politics to execute strikes against the Iranian reactors and bomb-making factories.  Obama has threatened to intercept such strikes, but Obama's own political position is shaky -- an act of war against Israel might be the first step in Obama's own impeachment.

All that is needed is for America -- or the American forces in theatre -- to turn a blind eye to the Israeli airstrikes.

Netanyahu, save your nation.  And the world.

Strike Iran.

Current Mood: happyhappy
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February 5th, 2015
11:32 pm

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Working Historical Chronology for MLP:FIM
If anyone is interested, I posted an elaborate chronology for the MLP:FIMverse to my FIMFiction blog.  You may find it here.

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January 18th, 2015
02:59 am

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The Other Shoe Dropping - Pope Francis Says About Paris Attacks "Freedom of Speech Has Limits"
Introduction

Recently -- barely noticed amidst the other reactions to the Al Quaeda Arabian Peninsula attack on Paris that killed 17 people and resulted in the destructioln of 3 physically-humanoid animals carrying out the attacks in Paris -- Pope Francis made a very interesting comment, reported here on BBC News:

The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people's faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

To illustrate his point, he told journalists that his assistant could expect a punch if he cursed his mother.


What the Pope just said is that one does not have the right to say or publish any ideas which are disrespectful toward another's religion and that -- if one does -- those who hold that faith implicitly have the moral right to respond with violence.

This is a more horrible -- and significant -- thing, for the Pope to say than at first glance.  And it is a development I have repeatedly warned was inevitable.


I. Blasphemy


Pre-Christian


The crime of "blasphemy" -- of speech or writing insulting or trivializing a god or gods -- is a very ancient one.  In High Antiquity, a city or kingdom was so identified with its gods that to treat the gods with disrespect was essentially the same thing as to treat the city or kingdom with disrespect.  When Moses claimed to be Hebrew, and took Yahweh as the patron deity of his rebel movement, the first three of his Ten Commandments all dealt with the sacred status of Yahweh under his laws:


I [Yahweh] am the Lord Thy God

I.    Thou shalt have no other gods before me,
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images,
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.



The impulse is henotheistic (one can have other Gods, but Yahweh must be worshipped as the most important one, something that the descendants of the Hebrews would be fighting civil wars over for over a millennium.  Ultimately monotheism would win, to the great sorrow of the human race for two more millennia, and to our great sorrow today.  Uniquely among High Ancient religions, it was not permitted to make idols to Yahweh.  (the sin of the worshippers of the Golden Calf was not that they made an idol, but that they worshipped "the Golden Calf" (Amon-Ra) before Yahweh.  And the last one means that when one speaks the name of God, one must do seriously and respectfully -- in short, it forbids blasphemy.

The concept of blasphemy as something which should be outlawed is of course older than the Decalogue (itself first promulgated some time around 1250 BC), but it is stated in especially clear and general terms therein.  Given human nature, and the concept of God as a super-dominant humanoid being (which is what the High Ancients thought -- the idea of God as spirit or principle was only just beginning to emerge at this time, and specifically in Ancient Egypt, which is probably from where Moses got the idea), it was inevitable that the super-dominant super-tribal-elder would demand the severe punishment of any who insulted him.

Punishment for blasphemy is common in the Classical Greco-Roman myths (which describe the world of Late HIgh Antiquity and of the Dark Ages between that era and the birth of Classical Mediterranean Civilization.  To take obvious cases, numerous Greek myths describe the Olympian Gods visiting punishment upon famlies or cities whose members compared themselves favorably to them; and Romulus kills Remus for violating the sacred boundary of the new-founded Roman city.  In all these cases, there is approval of those imposing the punishment.

In Pre-Christian Classical times, laws against blasphemy were also so common as to be unremarkable save where the victim of such laws was notable, or the circumstances particularly salacious.  Blasphemy (and "atheism," which was conceptually related because he who denied a god's reality thereby insulted him) were illegal in Athens, and were charges brought against such prominent Athenians as Alcibiades and his mentor Socrates.  And the reason why unchaste Vestal Virgins were buried alive was to punish them for the insult to Vesta (and thus threat to the security of Rome, as the ultimate reason to punish blasphemy was the fear that unpunished blasphemy would lead to punishment of the whole community by the outraged deities involved).


Persecutions of and by Christians

The reason why Jesus's enemies keep trying to get him to declare himself to be a God, or the Son of God, in the Synoptic Gospels is that doing so would be blasphemy according to Judean law (the other thing they try to get him to do is declare himself to be the King of the Jews,which would constitute rebellion not only against Judea but also against Rome.  Jesus was actually executed for the latter crime (of which, according to the Gospels, he was actually innocent -- the Temple leaders tricked Pontius Pilate into doing their dirty work, and in such a way as to blame it on the Romans).  But then, blasphemy is itself seen as a form of "rebellion" -- against the Gods.

The Christians were variously prosecuted (or persecuted) for atheism, blasphemy, rebellion and treason (crucifixation was originally a method of execution for rebels, as we see employed against Spartacus and his followers).  Christians, being monotheists, did not respect the other Gods.

When Christianity captured the Empire, existing laws against blasphemy were simply turned round upon the pagans, and employed at least as energetically against them as they had been previously against the Christians.

In the Eastern Empire, which did not fall until Renaissance times, and in its successor state the Empire of All the Russias, the definition and punishment of blasphemy was an imperial prerogative.  In the Western Empire, which did fall, the Papacy -- of which Pope Francis is the current leader -- assumed the role of defining blasphemy.  Punishing blasphemy was the responsibility of "the secular arm," which was to say whatever sovereign ruled the area in question.

Of course, once Classical and various other polytheistic paganisms had been eliminated from an area, the fury of the persecutors would turn upon fellow-Christians who believed some heretical variant of Christianity.  This greatly destablized both remnants of the Roman Empire (the German and the Greek) and was ultimately responsible for their decline and fall.


Muslim Persecutions

Islam copied most of its tenets from (both) Christianity and Judaism (if we are to discount delusions of angelic visitations, and flying to the Moon atop Pegasi).  Naturally, blasphemy (and many related crimes, such as apostasy and atheism) was punishable by death.  Things were particuarly chaotic here, ironically because the Arab tribes originally practiced a certain rude democracy -- the ultimate religious authority, which defined blasphemy, was theoretically not the Caliph, but the ummah, the whole Community of the Faithful.

This could create violent anarchy, since some of the Faithful might decide that one idea was blasphemous, while others might decide that its opposite was blasphemy.  What's more, the Koran specifically enjoins the Faithful to punish blasphemy as a positive religious duty, as part of jihad. It has historically created violent anarchy, under weak secular rulers.  In practice, it results in a strong Muslim tendency toward tyrannical rule, as only tyrants can effectively suppress such disruptive demonstrations of religious fervor, and thus in the Muslim world only tyrants can govern effectively.

Of course, rival tyrants or rebels may choose rival heresies.  The two great divisions of Islam are Sunni and Shi'ite, which originated in a dispute over who was the true Caliph in the 7th century, and have since come to profound doctrinal differences, which might matter if they weren't all a lot of bloody insane barbarians, but as they are, don't really matter very much save to put names onto the forces blowing each other up for no rational reason, or being blown up by us in self-defense or -- very rarely in the last two hundred years -- managing to get their act together and succeed in blowing up non-Muslims not actually unarmed civilians under their control.

Each has engaged in mass slaughter of the other when it's been on top -- for instance, the Shi'ite Iranians sent into or backed terrorrists in Iraq who murdered many thousands of Sunni Iraqis during the Iraq War of 2003-2011, and the Sunnis of ISIS have recently returned the favor.  In a world in which Muslim states are permitted to get and keep nuclear weapons, we may expect these death tolls to start climbing into the many millions.

As a matter of course, Muslims consider it acceptable to kill non-Muslims, especially in non-Muslim lands.  The Koran and its commentaries specifically divide the world into Dar-al-Islam (the House of Submission [to God], Muslm lands) in which offensive war is morally impermissible; and Dar-al-Harb (the House of War, all non-Muslim lands) in which offensive war is not only morally-permissible but actually laudable.

What's more, Shari'a or Muslim holy law is held to apply everywhere in the world, even if the local secular authorities don't yet acknowledge it.  Therefore, it is only just (by Islam's dim and perverted lights) for Muslims to kill blasphemers, everywhere. In short, Muslims do not hold Western states to be sovereign in any matter touching upon Islam, even in the territory of those Western states.  Which is what we saw regarding Charlie Hebdo.

And this is why peace is impossible on any other terms than the surrender of the West, or the subjugation of Islam.s


II. The Argument for Self-Restraint, or "Responsible Free Speech"

One of the most sinister aspects of the reaction to the attacks on Paris has been the numerous mainstream voices who have said that it was the fault of the Charlie Hebdo Magazine for "provoking" Muslims by saying things which offend them, and that similar situations be avoided in the future by the media being more "responsible" regarding Muslim sensitiviites.  The reason why this is sinister is that it implicitly argues that a statement not threatening violence, and being made in a formal context (debate or writing) can be morally held to be "fighting words" such that any resultant attack could be said to be legally provoked.

This is sinister whether or not this concept is to be applied only to Islam, or to religions in general.

If applied only to Islam, this would essentially represent a partial establishment of Islam as a religion whose adherents enjoyed special protection from the State, in that Muslims would be able to employ a special "offended by blasphemy" exculpatory or at least mitigating circumstances defense for violence against those who had insulted Islam.  Such a defense currently exists for no one else:  if I desecrate a crucifix in a photo or write "Christianity is crap," no court of law would take this into account as justification for violence, especially violence planned in advance and executed well after my utterance.  But this is exactly the defense the Pope is proposing.

If applied to religions in general, this would represent the loss of a key part of freedom of speech in the West, one which we gained only by slow cultural evolution coupled with hard-fought legal and social struggles in the 18th through early 20th centuries -- the freedom to regard religion with the same public criticism as any other branch of philosophy.  And if we think about it, the principle of Separation of Church and State as practiced in the modern West would logically demand that the privileges granted Islam in this regard be extended to all faiths.

This wourld represent a major practical loss, because religious doctrines often impede the development of science and technology, and social progress.  Sometimes this check is a good one, blocking evil courses; sometimes a bad one, and if it is impossible to criticize religion then it is impossible for us to tell when the check is good or bad.  Christian doctrines at various times provided both support for and opposition to slavery; Jewish ideas support for both savagely-exclusive racism (particularly in Hellenistic and Roman-Imperial times) and the most nobly universal humanitarianism (generally the case in Modern times).

Without the freedom to examine religious doctrines just as one might any other philosophies,Mankind is deprived of the ability to think about them critically, which means that we wind up thinking of things as "good" or "evil" without understanding the reasons why this is or is not the case.  This is not to say that religion is stupid, or that religious opinions are automatically wrong as regards issues of morality.  But doctrines unexamined, unchallenged whether by logic or mockery, mutate into monstrous forms, or ossify in ones which strait-jacket a growing civilization.

Modern Christianity and Judaism are almost purely benign faiths.  But that is because, in part because in today's West they have been de-fanged for centuries of significant secular power.  The blasphemy laws were repealed, or allowed to lapse into near-impotence, as. century or two ago.  Lacking the power to compel, these faiths have been limited to acting by suasion, and both they and our societies as a whole are the better for this.  They can adapt to scientific discoveries and social progress; we are free to think and speculate unencumbered by obsolete dogmas, formulated in more primitive eras.

There is no right to not be offended.  Disliking the content of another's speech or writing is not a valid reason to physically-attack that person.  And the law of a sovereign State must support the right of free speech to be just; and the forces of the State must prosecute as crimes physical attacks "provoked" by mere speech, and as wars such attacks if launched by other States or other foreign armed Organizations, to do its duty to its citizens.

But there is a still worse problem with yielding to the demands for censorship.


III. The Argument From Force, and its Moral Hazard

The notion that we should yield to the demand from Islam that we restrain our own freedom of speech is sometimes pitched as an inability of the State to protect us from foreign attack, and that hence we must in prudence give in to such demands.  There are several problems with this argument.

First of all, it is trivially the case that the State could protect us from such attacks, if it be a strong State and make this a major policy objective.  Crimes carried out by domestic organizations could be prosecuted with the full rigor of the law; with claims to "provocation" by speech or religious motivations as mitigating circumstances disallowed, as they are supposed to be in the laws of Western States as they are written and interpreted in all non-Muslim contexts.

Attacks carried out by foreign States could be treated as unprovoked attacks on our homeland, with the foe having immediately escalated to the deliberate murder of civilians and hence foregoing any claim to the protection of his own civilians under the Laws of War, with such claim also lost by the civilians of any State that knowingly backs or shelters such organizations.  Especialy as regards nuclear Powers, this would lawfully-allow the systematic annihilation of the populations of such States, until they unconditionally-surrendered.

Would such a policy be justified?  Yes!  A deliberate attack on our freedom of speech and writing is an attack on the nerve-system and brains of our society, and hence an extremely-deadly one.  The notion that such a campaign of assassination would be trivial and ignorable, not to be taken seriously, is a dangerous delusion.

If a State does not retaliate against such attacks against mere citizens or residents on her soil, is this not merely remaining neutral?  No, because by permitting attacks from proponents of a particular ideology without enforcing domestic or international law against their authors, but forbidding private retaliatory attacks against the proponents of that ideology, the State is de facto declaring its alliance with the attackers.  The term for attacks under such protection by a State is "pogroms."

A truly neutral position would be to permit Muslims the freedom to attack non-Muslims, and non-Muslims the freedom to attack Muslims.  The utterly horrible anarchy that would result from such "neturality" should make it obvious why it is essential for a State to enforce its laws on its own territory, and do so impartially.

Secondly, there is an extremely perilous consequence to a policy of restraint of freedom of speech due to a threat of violence.  This is that by doing so, one privileges aggressively-violent ideologies over peaceful ones, and hence gives over one's own society to domination by the aggressively violent.  Make no mistake -- to respond to Muslim threats of violence not by taking them as warning of likely unprovoked attacks, and pre-emptively destroying those who make the threats, but instead by urging one's own people to avoid verbal or written "provocations" to such attacks, is to reward the Muslims for their violence.

This leads to a very bad logical consequence of this policy.  By establishing the rule that the State will make concessions to aggressively-violent over peaceful ideologies, the State gives the more violent variants of peaceful ideologies a competitive advantage over their more peaceful counterparts.  By threatening violence, formerly-peaceful ideologies can hope to garner the benefits being offered to the more violent ones.


IV. The Return of Blasphemy Laws

Which is what Pope Francis may have noticed.

It was, after all, the various sects of Western Christiandom which were the first to lose their formerly-special status under the laws of the various States, as nationality superseded religion as a source of identity in Western cultures, and as the law became increasingly neutral as regarded religious beliefs.  One key development was the erosion of the last remnant of the blasphemy laws, which meant that religious authorities could no longer compel people to pay even an outward show respect to their dogmas.

But, if the Western States are to submit to the demand of Islam to not be "insulted," this opens the way to Western submissilon to similar demands from other faiths.  Indeed, given that most Western States have constitutions or traditions either prohibiting or severely limiting the State establishment of religions, it would be legally far easier (and more consistent) for Western States to reimpose the laws against blasphemy than to merely favor Islam on a de facto basis:  the former policy would be defensible pretty much everywhere save within the United States of America, while the latter one would be vulnerable to all sorts of legal challenges.

Pope Francis is known as a humane and peaceful man.  But he is also a Pope -- the leader of one of the largest, most long-lived and successful religious organizations in human history, the Roman Catholic Church.  He has come up through some hard politics.  And he is, of course, a believer in his own faith, and was probably not engaging in hyperbole when he pointed out that he would regard an insult to the Church as an insult to his own mother.

(This has double significance.  In Hispanic cultures, one's mother is especially sacred and to be respected.  And the most common affectionate away for Roman Catholics to refer to their religious organization is as the "Mother Church."  Modern Catholics are not suicidally zealous, as are modern Muslims and as were the Catholics of nine hundred years ago, but they do love their own faith).

Pope Francis can see the way the winds are blowing -- the secular intellectual elite of the West has lost their self-confidence, and in Europe in particular is calling on the barbarians of Islam to help them maintain their dominance over the Western masses.  He's presumably enough of a student of history to how this story always ends.

The Church must gain a strong position so as to be able to survive the coming storm.  If prosecution (or pogrom) for blasphemy is to once again be an allowed tactic in the culture wars, then he wants the Catholic Church to be able to use this tactic as well.  It is only common sense, especially from the perspective of a religious leader whose primary duty is to his own co-religionists.

I can't actually blame Pope Francis for this  Yes, to an extent he's betraying the West, but the aspect of the West he's betraying is the precise one which first toppled the Church from control of the Anglosphere and the northern Germanic and Scandinavian lands, and then led to its disestablishment in the Latin lands which were formerly its most loyal supporters.

From his point of view, if Western liberalism is going down from its own weakness, he certainly has no obligation to help preserve it.  And what he is doing is maneuvering to ensure that old-style European religious conservativism (of which, despite his left-wing credentials, as Pope he is the primary leader) comes out of the wreckage strong enough to lead the West's final defense.

After all, it is not the fault of the Roman Catholic Church that Europe has suffered a serious birth dearth and chosen to import Muslims as menial laborers and political supporters of the establishment.  The Church warned against the implications of widespread contraception and abortion; her warnings went unheeded.

And, had the European nations not first disestablished the Church and the Protestant Churches and then tossed aside the classcial-liberalism with which they initially replaced it, there would be no threat of unassimilated Muslim immigrants, as the secular laws would have been enforced on the immigrants just as upon the natives.

It was the secular European states who made this bed upon which the continent now lies, not the Roman Catholic Church.  The Church has neither the power nor the responsibility to govern Europe in secular matters.  The least, and the most Pope Francis can do is ensure that -- if the rules are now being changed once again to forbid blasphemy against Muslims, that blasphemy against Catholics should also be forbidden.

It is the weakness of the secular authorities that not only make this a reasonable strategy for the Church, but indeed an almost unavoidable one.  If he tries to defend a classical-liberal order in which the Europeans themselves have long since lost faith, all that will happen is that the feelings of Muslims will be respected -- and those of Catholics will not -- as has beeen in fact happening.

The Left has ensured that, someday not too long from now, the author of the next Piss Christ will be clapped in prison rather than feted.  And they have ensured this with their own weakness.


Conclusion

The Western Left has shown itself unwilling and unable to defend the legacy of classical liberalism which the 19th century bequeathed them.  It is as yet far from certain if the Western Right will do any better.  And the oldest Western Right -- the Roman Catholic Church -- is both unlikely to make the attempt, and probably unable to succeed if they do.

The men (and women) of the secular, classical-liberal Right must now take up the sword that the secular socialist Left has dropped, and wield it with such energy and skill that, in the end, it is the Muslims who are sent snarling back, blood dripping from their wounds, to once again see their holy places defiled and those among them who object contemptuously done to death, as was the case in the 19th century.

It is their honor which must fail -- or our freedoms.

There are now no other choices.

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January 8th, 2015
10:34 pm

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What Will French Do in Response to Attack by Al-Quaeda Arabian Peninsula?
It is now extremely likely that the recent attack on Paris, which struck at the French capital, calling 12 and wounding 11, was carried out by a team of two brothers, Cherif Kouachi (34) and Said Kouachi (32), who are affiliates of Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a guerilla regiment operating in Yemen.  AQAP is led by Nasir al-Wuhayashi, Qasim al-Raymi and Ibrahim al-Asiri.  They also operate as Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen,  Between them, the two guerilla forces comprise about 1100 unlawful combatants, and freqently concentrate for battles in Yemen, being able to seize cities due to the small size and incompetence of the Yemeni military.

I was able to discover this in about 15 minutes of Internet research.  We may logically assume that the French leader, President Francois Hollande, knows this as well by now.

We will soon learn whether or not Hollande takes the attack seriously, and is prepared to take the measures needed to stop this and future attacks, by his next actions.  France has powerful aeronaval and rapid reaction forces, including nuclear weapons, carrier groups, amphibious assault vessels and regiments of marines.  It would be fairly easy for France to crush AQAP.

Internally, France can reverse its policies regarding the admission of immigrants and the maintenance of Zones Urbans Sensibiles ("sensitive city areas") and begin enforcing its own laws on its Muslim minorities, joyfully breaking heads and unapologetically standing victorious over the bleeding and dying bodies of Muslim "youths," serving notice on the Muslims that they will not be permitted to abuse Frenchmen and Frenchwomen any more.

What will France do?  The world waits to see.

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January 7th, 2015
06:54 pm

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Black Brunch Organizer Wazi Maret Davis
You may have heard of a recent campaign of criminal rudeness that started in Oakland and spread to New York City, in which mobs of (mostly) black people come into upscale restaurants and harass patrons, reading off to them the names of black people allegedly murdered by police (in most cases, actually, shot in the process of committing crimes).  She and her friends do this without the consent of the restaurants and patrons, and defying lawful commands to leave the premises.

It's occurred to me that some of the restauranteurs and patrons who have had their lives disrupted by her might wish to contact her -- for verbal or written admonitions, bills or lawsuits, since obviously I do not condone violence.  So I present it here, as a public service, taken from her resume, which she was actually stupid enough to post online before engaging in illegal and civilly-actionable behavior.

Wazi Maret Davis
maretdh@gmail.com

Permament Address
212 E. 15th St
Oakland CA 94606 Apt 20



She is currently going for an M.A. in "Human Sexuality Studies" at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, so you might want to find her there to open a productive and multifaceted dialogue with her.

Remember:  I condone no violence toward her, though by her behavior she has implicitly consented to be approached at lunchtime and talked to about whatever's on your mind.

ADDENDUM

Here's an article where Wazi confesses publicly to organizing the invasion of your restaurants and harassment of your clientele.  You might want to make your lawyers apprised of this information.

Current Mood: amusedamused
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11:57 am

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Muslim Terrorists Attack French Capital, Hit Satirical Newspaper, Murder 12
A team of 2-3 Muslim terrorists, armed with AK-47 automatic rifles, have attacked the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, murdering 2 police officers and 10 journalists, before successfully fleeing by carjacking a vehicle and escaping into a Muslim slum.  According to the New York Times:

President François Hollande immediately declared that the attack was an act of terrorism and an assault on freedom of the press. He ratcheted up France’s nationwide terror alert to its highest level, and met with his cabinet in an emergency session. He said France was already on high alert after several planned terrorist attacks were thwarted in recent weeks.

This illustrates some important points about this sort of speech-targeted international terrorism.

(1) - Passive defense is useless unless allied with counterattack.  France almost certainly parried SEVERAL such intended attacks.  One got through.  Given that the ultimate authors of these attacks -- the radical ummah or Muslim community -- need not fear French retaliation -- the enemies of France (and Civilization) can just try again and again and again, with no real price for failure.

(2) - A policy of pure passive defense renders military might useless against such attacks.  France, after all, is a nuclear Power with global military capabilities.  But the enemies of France know that the leaders who have organized these sort of attacks need not fear rerprisal.  Hence, French strength is no deterrent, because they know it will NOT BE USED against them.

(3) - Disarming one's own populace increases vulnerability to this kind of attack.  The newspaper staff probably had considerable warning time after shots were fired at the police guard.  All they could do with this time was cower in fear of execution, because they had been deprived by law of the right to bear arms to defend themselves.  Gun control did not prevent the killers from being armed.

(4) - Given that at most the French will capture or kill the actual gunmen, this attack will exert a deterrent effect on the French media.  They will be afraid of also being killed.  The men who actually dispatched the gunmen will be free of fear, as will the ummah which supports them, both in France and in abroad.

Point "4" deserves considerable attention.  There are whole countries which are at least cheering on an attack, in France's capital, against a bastion of French freedom.  The people of these countries should be fearing waking up to an incredibly bright light and seeing their families whiff into flame seconds before the blast waves obliterate their foul selves from existence.  They are not, and the reason why not is purely the squeamishness of a civilization no longer willing to retaliate properly against mortal insult.

There is one silver lining here.

This inicident is going to greatly increase the influence and power of Marine Le Pen and her Front National.  The day may come when the French Muslims who cheered this attack board the ships and planes, forced from France to return to the Hells they made -- and when a vengeful France, her wrath finally aroused, rains fire down on their cities, before French troops take away the freedom which the barbaric Muslims showed themselves too irresponsible to properly employ.

The West is awakening.  And we will not endure these insults forever.

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December 20th, 2014
11:03 pm

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Rory's E-Mail Spoofed
This post, "Troubleshooting," explains it.

In case it's who I think it is, and others are experiencing similar difficulties, I'm sure that Andrew P. Marston of Marshfield, MA, would be delighted to receive callers in person to discuss the issue.  After all, it would only be polite, and I'm certain he's made many friends in his decades on the Internet.  Since Andrew is a noted cyber-security expert, and innocent to boot, no doubt he might earn commissions on the task!

No, yamamanama, no need to thank me.  Just helping you build your business contact list, like a good friend.

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01:12 am

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Thought Regarding North Korea and Cyberwarfare
If we do nothing serious to retaliate against this unprovoked aggression by North Korea, other countries and terrorist organizations will be lining up to take their own shots.  We have an immensely rich and influential movie and video industry, and why shouldn't other Powers censor it, if we do nothing to defend it?

We are a society increasingly dependent upon computers and online connections.  If we fail to grasp that cyberwar is "war," and that our response to such war can morally incorporate any and all of the other operations of war, including the ones where missiles and bombs destroy enemy assets and troops seize enemy territory, we will get a very nasty surprise the next time, when our emboldened foes choose more vital targets.

Oh, and destroying wealth by force or fraud on this kind of a scale ultimately destroys life as well.  it takes resources to maintain and protect human life. Destroy enough wealth, and humans will die in consequence.

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December 19th, 2014
12:10 pm

[Link]

FBI Confirms North Korea Behind Terrorist Attack on Sony - Obama Vows Response
According to the BBC News, "Obama vows US Response to Sony Hack," the FBI has confirmed that North Korea launched the terrorist attack on Sony which destroyed many millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and revealed personal details of Sony executives and other employees.


Earlier on Friday, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation officially tied North Korea to the cyberattack, linking the country to malware used in the incident.



According to David Lee, technology reporter


The FBI say it spotted distinct similarities between the type of malware used in the Sony Pictures attack and code used to attack South Korea last year.

Suspicious, yes, but well short of being a smoking gun. When any malware is discovered, it is shared around many experts for analysis - any attacker could simply reversion the code for their own use, like a cover version of a song.

But there's another, better clue: IP addresses - locations, essentially - known to be part of "North Korean infrastructure" formed part of the malware too.

This suggests the attack may have been controlled by people who have acted for North Korea in the past.


This, coupled with the clear coordination between the terrorists' actions and North Korean objectives, make it clear that North Korea is probably responsible for this attack.  North Korea has also committed decades of unanswered acts of war and truce violations, including murders of military personnel, armed terrorist attacks, and slave raiding, against the United States of America and her allies, so even in the unlikely event that North Korea was not behind this attack, no injustice would be committed by going to war.

President Obama said:


"We will respond," Mr Obama told reporters on Friday, declining to offer specifics. "We will respond proportionately and in a space, time and manner that we choose."

He added: "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States."


Tough words.  We will see if Obama is willing to match these tough words with tough actions.

The fact that he said this right after normalizing relations with Cuba, a country which has also committed terrorist acts against the United States of America, makes me doubt this, but he might surprise us all in the end.

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