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right now and her opening joke was about sniper fire. (Also, Leno just referred to the media as “us.”) Leno of course isn’t asking hard questions about the Bosnian sniper lie or other issues, and he probably shouldn’t, that’s not his job. But in his usual brilliance, Christopher Hitchens has asked some hard questions and deduced some worrisomely inexhorable conclusions. It’s worth a read.

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Congress’ grilling of oil execs for their companies’ profits brought to mind an old post of mine from last year where I brought up a few numbers on oil profit and government inlays from gas taxes. Original article, most of which had nothing to do with oil, here. Here’s the relevant snippet:

Remember how irate the Left was when despicable Exxon-Mobile made–gasp!–nine cents of profit per dollar of oil? Imagine what Liberals would do if somebody tried making 18 cents. (Turns out the answer to that is “absolutely nothing” since the federal government alone leeches 18.4 cents per dollar spent on gas—again, angelic Big Government makes twice off of gas what evil Big Oil makes–and what makes one angelic and the other evil? The fact that one forcibly took that wealth and the other had the unmitigated audacity to earn it.)

The lead from a Fox story this morning:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened South Korea with destruction Sunday after Seoul’s top military officer said it would consider attacking the communist nation if it tried to carry out a nuclear attack.

For all of their bluster and human-rights violations, the North Koreans do occasionally provide some entertainment, this time by saying the equivalent of “We will destroy you for attacking us after we try to destroy you.”A post-announcement evil laugh would have been icing on the cake, but I suspect most North Koreans lack from mass starvation the resonance vis a vis body mass needed to produce a Dracula-style chortle, though an “also your mom’s fat!” would have been a suitable substitute.

In a related but somewhat overlooked story, Kim, saying, “I’ve never before seen such redundancy and obviously ridiculous syntax, even for non-native English speakers…come on guys you’re not even trying,” executed all members of the Korean Central News agency. We suspect the mass-slaying came after the dictator read sections of the agency’s Sunday comments on South Korea, such as, “Everything will be in ashes, not just a sea of fire, if our advanced pre-emptive strike once begins.” Yes, for those of you out there wondering, ashes are scarier than fire and advanced preemption differs from regular preemption…somehow…if their strike once begins…

From LiveLeak’s statement regarding their withdrawl of Fitna:

We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what the last seven years have been about, and the 225 before that. We fight an ideological enemy that transcends state-bounds; and this enemy strikes at the heart of the underpinnings of liberal society: freedom of speech, free of the press, and freedom of religious exercise. For the whole of our existance, the US has stood against totalitarianism. Those arguing that Iraq is about oil or American empire have so fixated on leftist self-flagellation that they fail to see the blatant danger posed by these aggressive, new forms of despotism that seek, as Communism did, to control not only the body, but the heart and mind of its victims.

Dictatorship and junta contented to run their courses inside state-bounds are one thing. Ideological tyranny whose core principles dictate expansion and subjugation of others are another. The US has a responsibility to herself and the Free World (a term that fell into disuse after the collapse of the USSR but may well merit resurrection given our current struggle with a new despotism) she protects to rollback this threat to every free man, woman, and child on the planet.

I honestly thought, even at my young age, I would never face the day when an organization in Britain would concede that for discussing ideas the coin paid in physical danger would simply be too great.

If we cannot see the catastrophic threat posed by societies hellbent on expansion, who enslave and mutilate women, savagely execute men, teach their children to detonate themselves for a “god,” and wage unceasing war on any and all who oppose them, then we are truly lost.

May we never rest until those who plot our demise, justifying through their holy books malevolent machinations aimed at our most basic of human rights, are vanquished from this globe, adding yet another black page to history’s tome of failed, despotic ideologies which sought the the desecration of reason and the doom of mankind’s most precious liberties.

Something caught my eye in the Reuters story Jason commented on:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as “offensively anti-Islamic” a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.

Interestingly, Ban’s condemnation of Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ film on fundamentalist Muslim violence as “offensively anti-Islamic”may tacitly admit Wilders’ point.

Imagine a Mississippi filmmaker were to produce a movie linking the violence of abortion bombers and the Bible verses they use to justify their actions. Being an extremely devout evangelical, I would hardly call that work anti-Christian. It would condemn those twisting Scripture for their own fatal machinations; and it would condemn those executing violence, a proportion of Christians so small as to make laughable any conflation of them or their ideas with the faith itself. A film such as this would be anti-abortion-bomber not anti-Christian.

But Ban didn’t say Wilders’ film attacks those taking the Qur’an out of context or that it condemns those tiny numbers of Muslims embracing v iolence. He didn’t say it was anti-violence as its hypothetical, Christian analog might be categorized. Instead he labeled it anti-Islamic, accidentally acknowledging that perhaps the only circumstance under which this film could be anti-Islamic is if it accurately portrays some sect whose size and interpretation of the Qur’an makes conflation with the whole anything but laughable.

This is precisely why both fundamentalist and moderate Muslims have denounced the film: They’ve been left no choice but to conclude, much like Secretary-General Ban, that Wilders’ attack on Islamists specifically is also an attack on broader Islam; and if that is their conclusion, then perhaps such an attack is not without reason.

While Islamists may be able to intimidate centralized organizations such as LiveLeak…or the Dutch government, file sharing networks are extremely cellular, so much so that once information is released onto them, it is nearly impossible for it to be withdrawn, no matter what threats are made. I was pleased this morning to see this working to our advantage when I searched Isohunt.com for Fitna and found at least half-a-dozen copies already available to anyone with a mind to download one.

To download your own legal copy of Fitna, follow these steps (if your video player gives you trouble, I recommend using VideoLan–it will play virtually every file-type imaginable).

1. Visit uTorrent.com and download their torrent program here.

2. Install uTorrent by opening the file you just downloaded.

3. Once uTorrent installs, click here. When the page opens, click “Download .torrent” and then when the box pops up, tell it to open using uTorrent. (You’re now downloading the film. If this for some reason doesn’t work, move on to the next steps below.)

4. Visit this link which will auto-search Isohunt.com for copies of Fitna

5. Select the copy you want to download and click on it. (Currently I prefer the 133.55 MB version–it plays well and is in English.)

6. Once you click the file you want, you will be taken to another page with a “Download .torrent” link. Click the link, choose to open it with uTorrent, and uTorrent will start downloading the film automatically.

Remember that downloading items such as Fitna is not illegal because they are designed for public consumption. Downloading movies, music, and other intellectual property may be illegal and should be avoided. The Watchmen in no way endorse illegal file sharing.

In another manifestation of Islam’s peaceful nature, Muslims have threatened the website that hosted Geert Wilders’ Fitna, a movie linking fundamentalist Muslims to violence. Nothing says “we object to being called violent” quite like threatening to harm those who call you violent. And it would appear those threats have done their job. LiveLeak, in a video occupying Fitna’s former address, says it had to choose between freedom of speech and the safety of its employees. The internet organization pulled the film after fewer than forty-eight hours.

A statement on LiveLeak’s site says:

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support.

They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers [sic] culture.


We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

The Watchmen, however, will continue to push this film, and this author in particular would welcome the opportunity to face these faith-fueled fiends. In the spirit of freedom of speech, we repost here the youtube clips. In the post just above this one, you will also find instructions for legally downloading your own copy of Fitna. Wilders has released the film into the public, so downloading will not be a legal concern for anyone.

Resolutely,

Custos


Directly below are both parts of Geert Wilders’ long-anticipated, short film, Fitna which links Qur’anic passages to Wahabistic violence (original video here–be patient, they are getting a lot of traffic). The film has caused no shortage of controversy and buzz, culminating so far in a crisis meeting of Holland’s cabinet and the formation of a police cordon around the Dutch Parliament building. According to the Hollywood Reporter,

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Thursday night that the Department of Justice will investigate whether Wilders has broken Dutch law with his attack on the Quran. Balkenende condemned the film as “out to hurt” the Dutch people.

Welcome, dear friends, to life in paradisaical, post-Kantian Europe, where politicians and the enlightened excoriate those documenting murderous fanatics’ religiously motivated atrocities. That such documentation should result in muzzling the masses both viscerally and intellectually offends our undeniable desire for liberty.

We have already seen moral equivalence arguments being used as defenses for Islamist actions. But many a documentary and history has been made concerning the Crusades and the Inquisition. Vatican inspired violence doesn’t pour into the streets to greet these publications, though the Church may express its dismay or disagreement over the subject’s treatment. But when Dutch Cartoonists published works of satire; Islamists lauded murder, burned buildings, and stormed embassies. And now we see another reactionary storm on the horizon as Geert Wilders, a member of Holland’s House of Representatives, releases a film publicizing Islamist racism and violence along with some Qur’anic verses (or ayats) extolling murder and death. Intrinsically dishonest as moral equivalence arguments are, situations such as this demonstrate their utter uselessness and the complete intellectual dishonesty of those who deploy them.

Also bearing mention is the fact that Network Solutions refused to host the film online. This is certainly acceptable given Network Solutions’ status as a private firm. What disgusts is the fact that Network Solutions, while refusing to host what is actually a documentary exploration of those who would just as soon kill NS’ CEO as change turbans, contentedly hosts vile pornography (articles here and here). Somehow in the world of Network Solutions, objectifying and degrading women equates to protected speech while exploring Wahabism’s link to the Qur’an may violate the company’s own “guidelines on hate language.” The world is truly turned on its head.


Fox reports that Obama’s site finally took down an endorsement from the New Black Panther Party . Leader of the NBPP, Malik Zulu Shabazz, said he understood the decision and would continue to strongly support Obama, no doubt sending chills down the aspiring nominee’s spine. According to the story, the Candidate of Unity is also the candidate of choice for an organization

identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a tolerance education organization, as an extremist hate group. The Anti-Defamation League calls NBPP “the largest organized anti-Semitic black militant group in America. … the group continues to organize demonstrations across the country that blend inflammatory bigotry with calls for black empowerment and civil rights.”

The NBPP lists on its Web site a 10-point plan for full employment for black Americans as well as housing, education, free health care and an end to the death penalty.

In addition, it demands slavery reparations, the release of all black prisoners from American jails, trials of blacks only by all-black juries, an end to all black cooperation with police departments, exemption for blacks from the all-volunteer U.S. military and a separate country for African-Americans.

Nothing says “unity” quite like calls for a separate country.

Of course it’s true that we can’t fault Obama for the choices his supporters make (other than following him that is), but we can ask why he attracts these types of supporters.

They just don’t make preachers like this anymore. I wonder why not? Better yet, what can we infer about someone who willingly sits under this tripe for years…and raises his children there? Just a thought.

Quote of the Week

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." -- Thomas Jefferson