Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Cartoon Mayhem

Perhaps we are worrying excessively about Iran's scimitar rattling. No need to trouble the U.S. Air Force, except for the Military Airlift Command They can drop bales of Marvel Comics.

Members of Iran’s Azeri minority hurled stones in violent protests on Monday, enraged by a newspaper cartoon they said insulted them, a semi-official news agency and a witness quoted by Reuters said. The ILNA labor news agency said thousands protested in the northwestern city of Tabriz and police used teargas to try to disperse the crowd. The exact number of demonstrators could not be confirmed.

The cartoon, which appeared in Friday’s edition of the official Iran newspaper, showed a boy repeating the Persian word for cockroach in different ways, while a cockroach in front of the boy asked “What?” in Azeri.

The Azeris of northwestern Iran speak a language related to Turkish. Although Azeris have many luminaries among Iran’s commercial elite, Iran’s majority Persians mock them as stupid in their jokes.

Today's geography lesson has been brought to you by Marvin the Martian.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cure for Insomnia

We all know that Al Gore didn't really invent the internet. Hey, wake up! Go get some coffee and continue reading.

The charismatic 45th Vice President of the United States may be arrogant, pedantic and smarmy, but surely even he couldn't think that the hoi-polloi would buy a whopper this big. I didn't know what he actually said, so I used his invention to find out:

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Back in 1999, Gore was blathering to Wolf Blitzer on CNN about his accomplishments through the years.

Snopes pointed out that we commonly refer to the interstate highway system as President Eisenhower's creation.
If President Eisenhower had said in the mid-1960s that he..."created" the Interstate Highway System, we would not have seen dozens and dozens of editorials lampooning him for claiming he "invented" the concept of highways or implying that he personally went out and dug ditches across the country to help build the roadway. Everyone would have understood that Ike meant he was a driving force behind the legislation that created the highway system...

Fair enough. Even Vint Cerf ackowledges a level of contribution. The real reason that Gore got all the editorial abuse is because he is an arrogant blowhard. He comes across as smug and superior.

Paul Harvey still hasn't found a replacement, but I had to know the exact quote.

Vive la resistance!

Celluloid Heroes Never Die

Those Danish cartoons just won't go away. If I were like the tree killing media in the United States I would claim I were keeping a respectful distance, waiting for the fevered brows to cool, but this little piggy doesn't go to that market. This little piggy stayed home.

It is time to ask the world wide audience of readers:

Why does this offend you?

This cartoon contains no prophet, nor anything of a prophetical nature. In fact, the cartoon openly mocks the newspaper publishing it. So do tell, gentle reader, what is it about this student named Mohammed that ruffles your feathers?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back On The 'Net

...Dan Simmons has a new message.

What? You didn't read the old one? Click if you need to catch up. I posted a link to the April message earlier and I have since updated it when it got moved to Dan's archive.

The Time Traveler appeared suddenly in my study on New Year’s Eve, 2004. He was a stolid, grizzled man in a gray tunic and looked to be in his late-sixties or older. He also appeared to be the veteran of wars or of some terrible accident since he had livid scars on his face and neck and hands, some even visible in his scalp beneath a fuzz of gray hair cropped short in a military cut. One eye was covered by a black eyepatch. Before I could finish dialing 911 he announced in a husky voice that he was a Time Traveler come back to talk to me about the future.

The April message will grab you by the nethers. The May/June message is an analysis of the previous one. Like a good chess game, the post-mortem is quite a bit longer, but worth the time of the interested party.

Monday, May 15, 2006

First They Came For The Cartoonists they came for the journalists.

Know this readers: Belgium will not tolerate hate speech, especially double-plus ungood hate speech..

Belgian journalists, lawyers and politicians (including Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt), say that I am responsible for creating the atmosphere of hatred that led to the massacre. Some people even demand that I be prosecuted.

Free speech in Europe is less free than in America. Just ask Oriana Fallaci.

Thanks to Dymphna, Mistress Guardian of the Gates of Vienna.