The Law Makes The Crime


Sunday, September 30, 2012            3:44 AM

Crime-inciting Laws should be recognized for what they are. The USA went through a violent period of Prohibition and ultimately recognized that a Repeal of Prohibition was the right thing to do. The criminal distribution organizations were defanged by making their products available from a licensed liquor store.

Abortions were illegal for a long time but still happened—malpractice and unwanted children were the result. Rove v. Wade gave us the right to choose abortion, which stopped the horrors of backroom abortions and self-abortion attempts. Couples were able to plan their families—even when the Pill and other contraceptives failed to prevent pregnancies.

In both these cases, everyday citizens who found themselves in desperate straits were forced to go against the law to have a drink or to end an unwanted pregnancy. The fact that people will always seek these things, plus the fact that criminalizing these things did not prevent them from happening, plus the fact that criminals are prone to make money from these situations—all made the decision to legalize them a choice that (when all was said and done) was merely common sense.

How we have gone so many decades ignoring this common sense surrender to human nature with regard to controlled substances is a puzzle to many, myself included. Tons of money, manpower, and international cooperation have gone into the fight to keep society free of drugs—with no effect whatsoever. Anyone can get any drug—they need only ask for them from the criminals who sell them. People even grow or cook up their own drugs without too much difficulty.

Meanwhile, millions in taxes are wasted on the futile War on Drugs; billions in cash flow into the war-chests of the major drug cartels; and millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens are imprisoned on drug charges of a non-violent nature (which wastes more millions in tax money). Plus, there is the health issue—shared needles spreading disease, no help for the addicted, and no quality-control of the drugs being dealt, bought, or used. And, again, we see no change in the status quo. All that wealth, all the blood spilled, all the wasted effort—and drugs are still easily available on any street corner.

Would legalization make the problem better or worse? Well, firstly, how worse can things be? Plenty of people use illegal drugs every day. Will legalization cause an increase in their numbers? I don’t see how—anyone who wants drugs is getting drugs.

I won’t even go into the positive effects legalization could produce—they are not necessary to my argument. The drugs have won every battle in the war on drugs and they have created huge, networked criminal organizations around the world and in all the fifty states. Legalizing drugs would impact the criminal world like a body blow. The war on drugs, oddly enough, can be won by surrender.

The main difficulty is acceptance. No one wants to say, ‘Go ahead, use drugs all you want.’ But legalizing drugs is not an encouragement, but rather a freeing of drug-users from the fear and secrecy that present day drug use entails. And if it turns out that one drug, above all others, is just too dangerous to ignore we will have two advantages: 1) Other drugs can be offered as substitutes, and 2) we can better interdict a single substance than the entire spectrum of controlled substances we are banning at present.

To continue the War On Drugs is just plain stupid. It is a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that requires more thought than reflex.

“Some Of Us, All Of Us, And The Freedom Of Leaches”


What if Wealthy Leaches suppress their own Species,

Rationalizing, saying Leadership denied is Chaos

And Freedom must be Framed in a Breadboard

Of Irrational Lives—Half Fear, Half Toil—with

Circuitry of Specie determining the Paths

Open to ‘Freedom’ and Keeping the Power Supply

To Themselves?

.

.

.

What if Wars are the Leaches, Tilting the Pinball Game

Before our Metal Sphere gets the Lay of the Land;

Before we Finish the Thought of What is Real,

What is a Game, and How to Change Our World

Through Sensible Rules that Banish the Laws

Against Our Human Condition, and Allow Us

The Freedom to be Good?

.

.

We can be Good to Each Other—We can Learn How.

We can Rise above Capitalism’s Enslavement

And Arrive at Livelihoods that Keep us From Evil.

You and I May be Frightened. You and I May be Vicious.

You and I may be Greedy. You and I may be Hopeless—

Hungry, Confused, Subjugate, Excluded, or Hated.

We may all of Us have spent so long Under the Whip

That We can’t even Imagine another Way—

We may Fear our own Freedom.

.

.

Some will Train, Some will Transport, Some will Arrive

At the Combat Zone—the Zone of Madness,

So familiar with the Gushing of Blood and Screaming of

Townspeople whose Eyes Accuse Some of Us

Of discharging our Firearms, of Murdering Innocents.

Some of Us will Suffer, except for the Fortunate Fallen

Whose War is Over and will Never need to Kill

Again—Some of Us will disperse into a Red Mist

Of Shame and Guilt and Rage and Panic and

Some of Us will feel the Loss of Themselves,

Who used to be People with Freedom.

.

.

The Leaches will wear Frowns and Speak Seriously

Of the Need for this Insanity—but will still Find

Time to Repress the rest of Us in the Name of Nationality.

The Leaches will Grow Fatter on the Sale of Arms

And the subsequent Sale of Prosthetic Arms.

Pride and Determination will re-echo from their

Megaphones—Sanity will be explained Away—

All of Us will Work Harder, Work Longer,

And spend Less Time asking Questions of

The Whereabouts of our Freedom.

.

Some of Us will be Shamed and Persecuted.

Some of Us will be Forced to Prostrate Ourselves

To the Employer—The One who Exchanges Bread

For Pride, Fear for Security, and Obedience for Will.

The Institutional Bully of Middle Management will

Both Give and Receive the Torture of Life spent

As Chattel. They will Ape their Top Management

Masters in the Vain Hope of the Same Power

The Top-Most seemingly Own (Though They, too,

Will have an Owner Holding the Leash

Of their Freedom).

Some of Us will be Driven Mad, finding in our

Delusions the Only

Semblance of

Freedom.

Angel Eyes


Monday, September 24, 2012          1:53 PM

 

Dear Daniel Mayes:

 

I’ve just been reading your excellent article  “Are We Heading Towards A Big-Brother World?” regarding the use (or over-use?) of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) camera systems in modern cities.

 

By and large I must agree that this is a ‘balancing act’ issue, with security and surveillance on the one side and an invasion of personal privacy on the other. But there is a larger issue being overlooked here. The once-a-decade National Census (an attempt to get an accurate-as-possible head-count of all US citizens) is written into our Constitution. It, along with voting (another data-sampling activity) are both minimal attempts at determining some information of the people’s presence and wishes with regard to ‘self-governing’.

 

Self-governing is an ideal that cannot be realized—even working towards an exact head-count is an attempt to determine how many people are in which location, so that their congressman can represent them in numbers proportional to the number of people in the state, for example. But no tabulation can count all the people in the United States at one instant of time—even if we had the manpower and resources to physically count every person in the country, people would be born, people would die, in the time it takes to tally the numbers, they will have already changed. So the ideal of self-governing, of a government that responds to every want and need of every single citizen is, like all ideals, something that can only be imagined.

 

In the voting process, we encounter ‘hanging chads’, voter suppression, voter turnout (especially ‘voter turn-out’–there are only 20% or 30%, at best, of eligible voters participating in any election). So this, too, is an ideal that we should not hold our breath, waiting for its realization in reality. Fortunately, we have mathematics.

 

Sociology is the study of humans as groups–the smaller the sample, the less accurate the results–and even in large-sample studies, the results cannot be expected to predict the behavior of a single individual. But as a group, humans are incredibly predictable–and whenever huge samples of data-sets are available, they can predict with uncanny certainty the percentage of the group that will go this way, the percent that will go that way, and how many are left undecided and standing pat.

 

When polls first came into everyday use, in the 1950s, most of the applications were commercial–sales and marketing jumped right on the new miracle science, and have stayed riveted to consumer-testing, market research and back-end analysis ever since. Both politicians and news outlets soon saw the inherent entertainment value of releasing survey results on current trends in the opinions, politics, and tastes of the masses.

 

But there were other, more sensible, uses to be had. Traffic surveys in high-traffic urban arteries allowed for more efficient design and maintenance of freeways and intersections. Foot-traffic surveys of mall-shoppers changed the designing of malls and parking lots. Supermarkets use their inventory turn-over to determine future shelf-stock purchases. Lawyers use medical-symptom-mapping to prove high-risk ‘cancer cells’ located near places of pollution. The list goes on.

 

Many are the benefits to business and commerce—but even so, the individual also benefits from some sociological data-sampling. In a world of terrorism, radiation, and bio-safety concerns, a data-set of every pedestrian within a particular ten-block-radius might hold vital clues to emerging threats or illegal activities. But it can also aid in the search for a lost child or pet (if the pet doesn’t already have a sub-dermal LoJack device), or rescue operations during a natural disaster.

 

Many people seem to think that only ‘bad-guys’ require surveillance—when the truth is that, as we become a faster-moving society using synthetic signposts to organize the flow of us, the provisioning of us, the educating of our children and the protecting of our weakest, we need to keep tabs on what’s happening. Is blanket coverage of CCTV cameras the right method for collecting this data? Perhaps not. But, is there a built-in need for record-keeping in our high-tech, high-speed global village? I’m afraid so.Image

Sea-Spray From The Future-Shock-Wave


In the old days we were sure that, no matter how perfectly we created a ‘virtual experience’, there would always be a lack—an absence that we would naturally notice—because nothing is as real as reality.

It was sickening, in a way, to discover just how easily we can be confused in our senses—that not only was it eminently doable, but that digital electronics could, without any strain, reproduce sounds and sights with far greater precision than was perceptible by the human ear or eye. ‘Sniffer’ technology, too, is being digitized into a sensor that can sample the ‘air’ environment more sensitively than the nose of a hound dog (which, let me tell you, is no small achievement).

Taste—I dunno—or Texture, Motion, Heat, Balance, Time—our bodies’ sensations of the relative values of these environmental data are still enough of a mystery that we aren’t yet capable of reproducing them. Indeed, we are still trying to understand the connection between our sensoria and our brains’ processing of sensorium-input. At present, no technologies can synthesize even a rough approximation of such sensations as Inertia or Uprightness . So we are not quite ready to fool the human brain.

But, I should think that if we can conquer vision, acoustics, and smell, the rest is just a matter of time. How much time could be counted in years or centuries—I’m no expert—but the tempo of Biomedical Research (and Physics Research) is in high gear. Not only do we build on nearly-daily discoveries, but we build on daily improving electronics and miniaturization. Not only have we made a good start on decoding the Human Genome, but we make progress in nanotechnology—an applied science that could make our bodies self-monitoring, self-repairing, and make it possible to tailor antiviral-or-cancer medicines to the individual patient’s DNA.

I saw a TV show yesterday—researchers tailored a goat-ovum with silkworm genes—the grown goats give milk that is 2% silk. The TV program went on to describe the extraction of silk from the goat-milk and its subsequent drawing-out and production of the first man-made silk thread. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. For millennia, up until just this year (or maybe last year—mox-nix) the world has depended on silkworms exclusively for the material in silk threads and the woven-silk cloth that is highly valued for items of clothing and for tremendously strong, lightweight fibers such as those used in parachutes. It made a segment on the science channel or learning channel or NatGeo (who knows?). But fifty years ago it would have been front page news.

That is what makes my jaw drop about the present—so many new things, so often—and many of those are innovations that would have been world-changing, front-page news in its own right. A stereo with no moving parts—smaller than a wallet? No big  deal?

While these advances percolate away in the field of medicine, physical therapy, and entertainment, other digital changes occur. We find that robotics is also chugging away. Self-steering, adaptive-pressure gripping, vocal recognition, and exoskeletal-support hardwares/softwares are finding new ways to take over for both the disabled and the automotively challenged. Just think—a few more decades and “DWI” will become an antique term that harkens back to the day when people still drove their own cars. Less frivolously—synthetic limb or organ replacements are proceeding apace. One veteran who had lost both legs was fitted with these new springy synthetics that allow him to run—and it works so well, his eligibility for participation in the London Olympics was seriously debated.

“We can rebuild you—we have the technology!” –well, not quite—the Six-Million Dollar Man is still fiction. But not for much longer—and we know now that prosthetics can be more than replacements—they can be enhancements.

But even beyond these macro-innovations, there are more and more devices that do what electronics do best—they shrink down until they’re miniaturized so small as to fit inside a capsule which a patient can swallow, or into a chip in one’s brain that allows mouse-pointer-control without physical motion. Having gotten proof-of-concept, I seriously doubt that full, brain-only computer interaction will take more than a few more years. How nice it would be for any future ‘Stephen Hawkings’ to have a full Exoskeleton in place of a Wheelchair, to have the ability to type on a Keyboard in his (or hers—let’s not forget the future ‘Stephany Hawkingses’!) Mind. A time will come when healthy people will start to envy some of the prosthetics of the future—then we’ll all be brain-typing, with airbags built into our belts (in case we fall off a building) and cars that read our minds to determine where we want to be driven.

The proximity of our ‘future’ is so close that it has businesses rising and falling as each new thing obsoletes each old thing. And worst of all is always the newest-of-the-old—the i-Phone 5 release is a current news topic and fodder for late-night comics because it made the i-Phone 4 obsolete in less than a year from its own debut. So while bookstores, record stores, gas-only-fueled cars, and ‘landline’ home phones begin their shuffle off to the inevitable, they are being elbowed aside by last year’s cars, last year’s games, last year’s business paradigm—all marching double-time to the scrap heap.

But this is no novel—no Tom Clancy thriller—no Dickens tale of good vs. evil—this is the world, in real life. The wave of the New isn’t a sheet of water so smooth as to reflect our images—it is a thundering crash with all the attendant splashing and spilling.

Let me give an example of one of the little details that we use to cobble together our future-shock-wave. This is a true story—it happened to me just as I describe, and all text has been cut-and-pasted from the original web-page or e-mail. I call it “I’m Going To Jail—But The Internet Made Me Do It!

There are some oddities about online activity that show the unfair choices forced upon the Webbity-Web, now that it’s been ‘mostly’ commercialized. But please don’t think me dense enough to expect any change in the corporate-ization of onlineTown, USA—if any one person could change the nature of the internet, it wouldn’t be the ‘robust defense measure for national communication’ it was originally designed to be during the Cold War. No, these are just little things now—but I foresee some legal activity on this sort of thing, sooner or later.

To begin with, the internet—or, to be clear, a person’s Internet Service Provider (ISP)—is like automotive insurance—even if someone else is behind your keyboard, you’re still liable for any illegal activity. This is also true of one’s ‘social media’-site accounts, especially YouTube. There are concessions YouTube has been forced to make to stay in business. These concessions apparently include ceding all legal oversight to the owners of copyrights—either Collective Copyright Administrators or the Media Corporation itself.

How does this affect me?  Well, the uploads I send to my YouTube account are sometimes titled “Bach Partita No. 1” or “Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers”, because these are the piano pieces I had played on my videos.

The YouTube ‘copyright filter’ only looks at the title of the piece and if it matches by 90% or more, I am told that my upload “violates copyright protection laws”. It assumes that I am pirating Glenn Gould’s, or Peter Serkin’s, or Ruth Laredo’s, virtuoso recording—rather than having played the music myself. I know that the ‘amateur-pianist’-demographic is no huge chunk of internet activity, but this is tantamount to saying that such a thing NEVER happens.

But that’s not all the liberty being taken in this situation. There is a ‘copyright claim disputed’ option in YouTube’s ‘notification’ pages—it is quite a winding way for a newcomer (I have had cause to become familiar) but one is finally given a text box  wherein the ‘reason’ should be typed. I have done this several times—and I have gotten the status changed to OK for most classical pieces.

But what really gets my goat is the final text display  before the text box  in which belongs ‘your full name (as signature)’—and that is over and above the fact that I’m being forced to ‘sign’ a legal agreement online by a faceless corporate app. What it says basically is that ‘I understand that if I’m making a false claim I will lose my YouTube account’.

So, to sum up, I am erroneously accused of piracy. I’m asked to plead guilty by clicking on ‘claim recognized’—or—to send in an explanation why I shouldn’t be prosecuted (but only at the risk of losing my YouTube account, if they disagree with my claim).

My YouTube account is several years old—I’ve uploaded over 900 piano videos and am looking at hitting one thousand recordings uploaded sometime early in 2013. That’s a lot riding on fighting off some underdeveloped ‘copyright-app’ every time I play Beethoven!

Below are a few examples of this practice, including my somewhat irritated responses to them—

Three (3) from “Musicke’s Handmaid” (2012Sep22)

 

Please verify the following information:

Claims to dispute

“A New Ground in E minor Z 682”, musical composition administered by:

One or more music publishing rights collecting societies 

 

Reason for dispute

This video contains the material at issue, but the material is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection.

Explanation

This music is from the Seventeenth Century. If my performance of it violates anyone’s rights, they would be those of Henry Purcell–an Englishman who died before the American Revolutionary War! This business of claiming copyright on ancient pieces of classical music which are clearly in the Public Domain, simply because a single artist’s recording of the piece is uniquely copyrighted by the performer’s representative–is unethical. Please bring this to the attention of whoever is in charge of ethics over there.

I have a good faith belief that the claim(s) described above have been made in error, and that I have the right(s) necessary to use the contents of my video for the reasons I have stated. I have not knowingly made any false statements, nor am I intentionally abusing this dispute process in order to interfere with the rights of others. I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in termination of my YouTube account.

 

Signature

Chris Dunn (xperdunn)

********

YouTube channel Xperdunn             copyright infringement claim:

 

 Video Title-    Tchaikovsky: “Andante Cantabile” (2011Mar02)

 

Claims to dispute

 

 “String Quartet No. 1 in D major Op. 11 (version for cello and string orchestra) String Quartet No. 1 in D major Op. 11: II. Andante cantabile (arr. for orchestra)”, musical composition administered by:

One or more music publishing rights collecting societies 

 

  “ANDANTE CANTABILE”, musical composition administered by:

One or more music publishing rights collecting societies 

UMPG Publishing

Reason for dispute

This video contains the material at issue, but the material is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection.

Please explain briefly:

“I find this completely unfair! These ‘rights collecting societies’ are perfectly well aware of the fact that classical compositions have a multitude of recorded performances.

The ridiculous claim that my piano performance video includes a performance by string quartet (Oh no, wait, it’s a string quartet piece ARRANGED for Orchestra!) is absurd.

But even the Andante Cantabile, which IS a piece for solo piano, is my original performance of the sheet music, not a bootleg of another performer’s recording.

The idea that these ‘rights-collectors’ can accuse me of video-and-audio-piracy just because they own the rights to One, Specific Artist’s performance of a classical work, is outrageous. Finding a 90% match in the Title-text is completely insufficient.

Can’t they be bothered to compare just a few seconds of the video’s audio to a few seconds of the copyrighted recordings which they oversee? Why is the entire onus dumped on a helpless amateur like myself?

It is completely unjust. And it isn’t as though there are a lot of videos out there where the Titles match and the videos don’t. Even a glance at the Duration of their recordings and mine should be enough to indicate that no piracy has occurred.”

I have a good faith belief that the claim(s) described above have been made in error, and that I have the right(s) necessary to use the contents of my video for the reasons I have stated. I have not knowingly made any false statements, nor am I intentionally abusing this dispute process in order to interfere with the rights of others. I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in termination of my YouTube account.

 

Type your full name to serve as your electronic signature

             Christopher Dunn

 

Cancel   Continue

 

Back   Cancel   Submit Dispute

 

Are you sure you want to dispute this claim?

 

OK     Cancel

{Notice the unsubtle intimidation implied by the ‘good faith’ check-box.}

{Here’s another, but Kabalevsky, et. al. are modern enough for their compositions to still fall within the composer’s (or the composer’s estate’s) copyright claim.}

Video Title-    More Kabalevsky and Others (2011Mar05)

 

Claims to dispute

 

 Musical Composition administered by:

One or more music publishing rights collecting societies 

Reason for dispute

This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder. It is a fair use under copyright law.

Please explain briefly:

“My video is my own, original performance of the works of Kabalevsky and other so-called ‘classical’ composers’ works. It is not a bootleg of an existing, copyrighted recording. Please inform me if I am accused of infringing the copyright of the sheet music or of infringing the copyright of a specific pre-existing, commercially-related recording.”

I don’t see why they publish the sheet music if it’s a crime to play the music in public for free, which is all I have done.”

And on and on:

“my video contains my own, original performance of the sheet music, not a bootleg of another performer’s commercially-available recording!”

And for Satie’s Gnossiennes:

Only copyrighted in France, Spain, and Portugal

So that’s what I consider a good-sized mess that will only grow larger with time. I am by no means an accomplished performer—in fact, I rather suck at it. But I approach these issues from the point of view of some future amateur whose own interpretations will be shut out due to increasingly troublesome corner-cutting by the copyright-collectives and big media corporations.

As regards the ISP, their purview includes monitoring my connection for illegal activity—or, to be more precise, they carry out notifications and penalties due to illegal activity as is policed by these same copyright-collectives and big media corporations.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RE: OPTIMUM’s “© infringement” email:

I’m not sure what I’m being accused of here. I have allowed my nephew to use this computer recently–maybe he did something. Could you be more specific about the action–did this PC download an mp3, post an mp3, or what? We don’t do that stuff. I don’t know what happened here, but I would not bootleg or pirate mp3s, or anything else for that matter.

Here’s part of the email message I got:

===

We regret having to send notices like this, and we do not wish to alarm you unnecessarily, but we believe it is important to advise you of any notices concerning your account.

 

Regards,

Ti Chas

Cablevision Registered Copyright Agent

 

Infringement Notice Details:

Complainant

ID#: 22259478673

Entity: Recording Industry Association of America Inc

Contact:Jeremy Landis

Address: 1025 F Street NW 10th Floor Washington DC 20004

Phone: 1-888-868-2124

Email:riaa.antipiracy@dtecnet.com

 

Source

Event Time: 2012-08-28 11:28:08.0

IP Address: null

Application: P2P

Username:

Number of Files1

Allegedly Infringed Material

Title: BROTHERS

Filename: The Black Keys – Brothers [2010-MP3-Cov][Bubanee]

URL: null

—Please let me know more about this, especially how I can fix or undo it.

Thanks in advance for your kind attention.

-Chris Dunn

So there you have it. I am innocent of all charges, yet I am harrassed for copyright-violation  in page-error notices and property theft in ‘(NoReply)E-Mails’. I love it when I’m accused of a crime in an e-mail that specifically prevents a reply. That, in itself, should be worth a look-see by the legal profession–but what do I know?

My Protest Is Non-Violent–How About Yours?


 

I find something strange in the waves of anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. Where were these outraged Muslims when the Soviet Union banned religion throughout Eastern Europe? And what is all this talk of ‘respect’ without respect for life? If we were to ask the Syrians or the Libyans or the Egyptians for ‘respect’ we’d be accused of high-handedness; ‘the Great Satan demands respect, does it?’ We give billions in financial aid to some Mid-East nations, well, most Mid-East nations. Isn’t that respect for our fellow Peoples? Does the money not count, all of a sudden, because we built an Internet that allows the Middle Easterners to forget that we are an ocean apart?

This so-called movie (that is actually a ‘trailer’ (a preview) for an imaginary movie) was made by one person, maybe two. The armies of Islam have no beef with those individuals–if they did, they should have gone after those people in particular. Instead, they thought, what a great excuse for murdering the American closest at hand, the one with the best reputation–just so the whole world would know how ‘angry’ these folks are. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was in Libya to help the newly democratic nation transition to a more settled, less chaotic installation of an elected government. I assume he was also there to oversee the transaction of billions in aid. He wasn’t naïve–he knew he was risking his life to be there and to help.

He was not some puppeteer trying to coerce Libya into becoming a pawn of the United States–the world knows this. In all the fighting our armed forces have ever done, we have never taken permanent possession of any real estate–that is our tradition and it hasn’t changed in over two-hundred years. He was there to help, period. Likewise the three other innocent Americans executed by the mob that stormed our embassy.

Respect? We have a tradition in America, a common cause that many Americans have died to protect–it’s called free speech. The protesters say “We never insult Jehovah or Christ, why must you insult our prophet?” Well, first of all–Go ahead. I can call Christ a Pig. I can call Jehovah a Geezer in the Sky–we don’t CARE. Sticks and stones will break our bones but words will never hurt us. Or our gods, or our government. No. What these protestors are against is Free Speech.

They were nice and quiet all through the Cold War, many of them siding with the Soviets in exchange for arms or funds–working hand-in-hand with an enforced-atheism government. Syria still does it today–well, I shouldn’t say Syria, Syrians are being blown up in the streets by their own government–but that Government is still dealing with Communists, just like the good ol’days–as is Iran.

What do they have in common? Repression. They believe in repression of public dialogue–they prefer to keep political discourse as a blood sport. They want their governments to retain the ability to cow their citizens, instead of serve them. Why? Because Islam (again, perhaps not Islam, but it’s figureheads, the ones with the ability to rustle up some gang violence among the population) has a tradition of repression–they repress their women, they indoctrinate their young, and they punish people for speaking their minds. This is not a healthy format for a major religion. We will come back later to the issue of their longed-for dream of committing genocide in Israel.

There are Muslims in the United States–their lives are no different from us non-Muslims–they understand that Free Speech takes precedent over religious dogma, they don’t attack passers-by on the street every time someone takes a swipe at their religious traditions. There are Jews in America–hell, last I heard, there are more Jews in the New York metro area than there are in Israel. But the Muslims here understand that religious freedom takes precedence over some feud the Imams have been stoking the fires of for a millenia.

In America, we know that freedom is more important than dignity. We know that dignity is an illusion, that the Emperor is buck-naked, and that ‘fervent prayer’ is the limit of how far one citizen’s religion can impose its rules on another. When I was a kid, Catholics couldn’t eat meat on Fridays–but there was no pressure from Catholics to close the butcher shops on Friday by law.

And there is another bit of childishness to this Mid East violence–have they no faith? Can one sick guy’s post on an obscure web-site really touch their prophet? Is their faith truly encumbered by this arbitrary input from one stupid foreigner, half-way round the world? Don’t they see that their magnification of this one guy’s bad attempt at satire makes him a world-renowned figure? If they had an ounce of sense, they would have let this guy and his ‘trailer’ fade away like a billion other tasteless web-posts.

The way I see it, all these embassy protests have been orchestrated by Imams jealous of the power they wield in the Middle East that they enjoy nowhere else. They see repression as a necessary tool for their survival as leaders of their society. They see religious freedom as a death knell to their world order. They think that anyone with the nerve to face up to them, and tell their own truth, ought to be put to death.

Well, the terrorists have become very sophisticated. One can hear and read in the media of a new ‘discussion’ over freedom of expression. There is nothing to discuss. If we adopt any new legislation amending the freedom of the press or freedom of speech–I swear I’ll make a hundred videos ridiculing Islam. I’ll devote my frickin life to it.