A good reason to reject the Dubai Ports World takeover of P&O is that their parent company supports the Arab boycott of Israel. That's a pretty good business reason to resist this takeover.
(Hat Tip to Tammy Bruce.)
We're getting closer. We have insulation and a door and the inside wall has been taken down. Soon I'll need to start posting pictures of the inside.
Church, Snowball, and I have been banished to an outbuilding while they rip out the wall for the addition. Since the hangar has somewhat limited facilities, the cats sure are bored.
Looks like Royal Caribbean selected Katherine Louise Calder (of Portland, Oregon) as the Godmother of Freedom of the Seas. I voted for her, so I'm glad. I suspect a lot of people voted for her due to her intense activity as a foster mother (over 400 foster children in 27 years). Seems like a nice lady.
Late yesterday we passed 100,000 visitors here at my weblog. I'm not sure what the milestone really means, but I guess I should recognize it.
It's been up for a few days now, and the electrical runs have been inspected, so this coming week with a plumbing inspection we should start with siding, insulation, and maybe even sheet rock.
Flemming Rose discusses the philosophy that lead to the publication of the controversial cartoons of Mohammad at the Washington Post in the aptly titled “Why I Published Those Cartoons”
I agree that the freedom to publish things doesn't mean you publish everything. Jyllands-Posten would not publish pornographic images or graphic details of dead bodies; swear words rarely make it into our pages. So we are not fundamentalists in our support for freedom of expression.
So why did they do it?
By contrast, I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. And I still believe that this is a topic that we Europeans must confront, challenging moderate Muslims to speak out.
And the cartoons themselves were not extraordinary.
We have a tradition of satire when dealing with the royal family and other public figures, and that was reflected in the cartoons. The cartoonists treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point: We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society, not strangers. The cartoons are including, rather than excluding, Muslims.
Is this level of respect universal? Apparently so:
On occasion, Jyllands-Posten has refused to print satirical cartoons of Jesus, but not because it applies a double standard. In fact, the same cartoonist who drew the image of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban drew a cartoon with Jesus on the cross having dollar notes in his eyes and another with the star of David attached to a bomb fuse. There were, however, no embassy burnings or death threats when we published those.
I have always maintained that there's no such thing as a right to not be offended. If such a right were universal communication would be set back hundreds of years. Sometimes the harsh truth needs to be said. Sometimes it's necessary to point the finger of satire at the overblown and overwrought. There would be a safety in experimenting because that's where true innovations and breakthroughs occur.
After reading The World is Flat and a billion or so blog postings on culture clashes and the global community I am convinced there are a lot of sacred cows in the road to a well-functioning global society. Freedom of speech is not a tenet to be sacrificed. Instead, it is a catalyst for getting to that goal. Flemming Rose explained that they wanted to start a dialog with moderate Muslims because of many cases of self-censorship over fears of offending fundamentalist Muslims. He claims that some victories have been won there, but in the press they are overshadowed by the violent reactions of a minority of opinion.
I'm back from Austin, by the way, and here's evidence I was there:
Almost live from the Broken Spoke in the deep south of Austin.
In the age of HIPAA, isn't it a bad idea to talk about the name and medical condition of a lawyer on national television?
The cats and I are working from the hangar lately as there are way too many noisy and dangerous goings-on over there in the house. Misty is painting the office, the plumbers are building the new bathroom, and the insides are almost framed up. The old outside wall stills stands, however, and won't come down until the addition can be secured.
Biggest change to see from the outside is the porch roof. Imagine some nice posts coming down in front of that and you'll be thinking of the new main entrance!
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has submitted a piece titled “America Expects Surveillance” to the Wall Street Journal supporting the use of eavesdropping on suspected Al Quaeda members:
The president, as commander in chief, has asserted his authority to use sophisticated military drones to search for Osama bin Laden, to deploy our armed forces in combat zones, and to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives around the world. No one would dispute that the AUMF supports the president in each of these actions.
It is, therefore, inconceivable that the AUMF does not also support the president's efforts to intercept the communications of our enemies. Any future al Qaeda attacks on the homeland are likely to be carried out, like Sept. 11, by operatives hiding among us. The NSA terrorist surveillance program is a military operation designed to detect them quickly. Efforts to identify the terrorists and their plans expeditiously while ensuring faithful adherence to the Constitution and our existing laws is precisely what America expects from the president.
This is certainly a “Well, duh!” kind of issue, as I've pointed out many times before. It all boils down to this:
The AUMF is not a blank check for the president to cash at the expense of the rights of citizens. The NSA's terrorist surveillance program is narrowly focused on the international communications of persons believed to be members or agents of al Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations.
If it was all communications of those suspected to be involved with Al Quaeda, I'd be far more worried, but because the communications are to those outside of the country, the use of the NSA facilities and the lack of warrants makes plenty of sense. Can we move on from this now?
I need to get Snowball to do more cute stuff that doesn't look blurry when I take a picture. Church is a master at this.
In my opinion, Alana spoils Bingo.
By popular request,
Sometimes the rain gets a little old.