Oh, right, I have a blog. Sorry about the
absence dearth lack of posts laziness.
Anyway, I’ve seen much bandying about of “treason” and such regarding Snowden, the private contractor working for the NSA that leaked information on what the agency is actually doing, and I thought I would point this out:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. U.S. Const. art. III § 3.
I doubt this applies to Snowden; he didn’t adhere to our enemies, nor did he give them aid or comfort.
Nidal Hasan, the Islamist psychiatrist who shot up Fort Hood (*spit*), is intending to use the “defense of others” defense in his trial. He even said–in court–that he did so to protect the Taliban from deploying soldiers.
So, Hasan confessed in court that he killed American soldiers to protect the Taliban. I doubt that qualifies as giving aid or comfort, but it certainly seems to fall under the umbrella of “adhering to their enemies.”
Treason is a term of art, gentle reader. Don’t bandy it about carelessly.
Apparently we are going to hold Iran’s leadership accountable for the recently discovered terror plot to assassinate ambassadors etc.
I await Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s statement announcing that the US’s leadership will be held accountable for the Fast and Furious debacle.
But shouldn’t someone have told Joe “Foot in Mouth” Biden about it, first?
Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.
It’s one thing to call your opponents racists. But to call them terrorists?
If someone disagrees with you, you don’t slander them; you either try to convince them that they’re wrong, or you try to convince everyone else that they’re wrong. Calling political opponents terrorists waters down the meaning of the word, and does absolutely nothing for you.
And it would be one thing if the person calling their political opponents terrorists were just some opinion writer, but for the vice president to do so is beyond the pale.
The government should not lightly label people terrorists.
If it’s over 16 ounces (454 grams), it’s high-risk and can’t be sent.
Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security’s new regulations, Japan Post has announced that they will no longer (starting on the 17th of this month and continuing for who knows how long) accept packages for shipment to the US and her territories that are more than 453g in weight.
This affects me in particular; Tales of Graces F comes out in the first week of December, and my friend in Japan is supposed to ship it to me (along with a couple books and magazines). The total package weight is sure to be more than one pound, especially with whatever packing material he uses to make sure nothing gets destroyed en route.
Unfortunately, shipping via Japan Post is no longer an option; I guess he’ll have to ship via one of the far more expensive carriers, assuming they still will ship items to the US.
Thanks, Janet Napolitano. I certainly feel safe now that I know I’m not in danger from all those exploding toner cartridges those Japanese Muslims have been shipping through the mail.
David Harsanyi makes some good points (H/T Instapundit).
We’ve come a long way from, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it;” it’s much easier to just say, “Shut up.”
You said something that offends me? Shut up.
You said something I disagree with? Shut up.
You have a different opinion from everyone else? Shut up.
You can make arguments to back up your position? You’re a racist and a bigot and just SHUT UP!
Okay, this is getting ridiculous.
White House Backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi
This whole situation is rapidly becoming farcical. If this is true, anything else I say would probably get me put on a list somewhere.
Our good friends at BP, that’s what! I bet they didn’t think their public relations problems could get any worse, but now this comes to light. It was bad enough when the doctor who said al-Megrahi had three months to live could actually end up living for as much as a decade; now we find out that in addition to slacking on safety inspections, BP lobbied for prisoner exchanges with terrorist-supporting countries. This is beyond the pale.
BP is running out of options at this point; if they don’t drill in Libyan waters, they’ll probably have problems making the money they need to pay off the reparations to Gulf oil spill victims, but if they do, they look even worse (and before this I wouldn’t have said that was possible).
If I were a stockholder, I’d be furious. This hasn’t changed my opinion on our society’s need for oil; until miniaturized nuke reactors or fuel cells or really awesome batteries are developed, we’re stuck with it. That doesn’t mean that BP shouldn’t be punished (with boycotts and action within the law; penalties, etc.).
Not buying BP gas is easy for me; there isn’t a BP station nearby! They’ve made the list of places I won’t fill up at (Citgo has some company, at long last).
Or we will surely be beheaded separately! It doesn’t matter that the artist in question retracted and apologized for starting the whole “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” thing; she still has been marked for death.
Freedom of speech and religion is anathema to Islam; Awlaki even says, “Because (participants) are practising a ‘right’ that is defended by the law, they have the backing of the entire Western political system. This would make… attacking any Western target legal from an Islamic viewpoint.”
No one can take a religion seriously that thinks it’s ok to blow shit up and kill everyone remotely associated with people who drew a picture of your prophet. I’m not Jewish, or Catholic, or Buddhist, or Sikh, or a Scientologist; I’ll freely make jokes at the expense of any of those religions (Xenu? Seriously?). I have no beef with any of their followers, and while they might be offended at whatever jokes I make, they won’t try to blow me up or kill my family.
I would think that Islam is relegated to the dustbin of history if it weren’t for the demographics; Islamic countries are outbreeding Western nations. Europe is having problems with this even now: Mohammed is one of the most popular boy’s names in Britain.
I don’t know how to address this while remaining true to our principles; I am afraid that if we can’t figure a way out of this situation, a few generations down the road we’ll have to contend with religious war on a scale we can’t currently imagine.
Frank Miller is working on a follow up to his graphic novel 300. The movie adaptation was great, and hopefully Zack Snyder will get first crack at the adaptation of Miller’s new work.
Xerxes hasn’t even been published in comic book form yet, and it’s already generating criticism that 300 didn’t get until after it released to theaters.
That this would be a sensitive topic isn’t surprising. Frank Miller was inspired by The 300 Spartans, a Cold War era film that drew blatant parallels between the Spartans/Persians and Americans/Soviets; I think there was even some text at the beginning or end of the movie making it plain.
I don’t know that the film adaptation of 300 was written in such a way as to make explicit parallels between the war on terror and the Persian wars (the graphic novel came out in ’98, after all), but Zack Snyder couldn’t have been ignorant of how it would appear.
On the other hand, he might not have cared. 300 grossed $450 million on a $70 million budget, and was arguably pro-western civilization and anti-middle eastern. Contrast this with Redacted, another 2007 film, but viciously anti-American. It grossed $779 thousand on a $5 million budget.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson liked the first movie, and noted that while parallels between then and now are easy to draw and perhaps trite, the historians of the day saw things in much the same way:
If critics think that 300 reduces and simplifies the meaning of Thermopylae into freedom versus tyranny, they should reread carefully ancient accounts and then blame Herodotus, Plutarch, and Diodorus – who long ago boasted that Greek freedom was on trial against Persian autocracy, free men in superior fashion dying for their liberty, their enslaved enemies being whipped to enslave others.
You want ’em? Come and take ’em.
No potential for abuse here at all! I certainly couldn’t imagine someone painting their political opponents as terrorists; if this push by Lieberman and Bloomberg succeeds, that would be enough to deny them their 2nd amendment rights.
In fact, this could be disastrous for people who are accidentally on theses lists; after all, if one guy named John Smith is on the watch list, then every John Smith who tries to do fly, or buy a gun, will find himself stymied by the federal government.
If the prohibited person category (which included felons, domestic violence offenders, the mentally unstable, and illegal drug users) were expanded to include those on the no-fly or terrorist watch lists, the number of people affected would skyrocket.
If one John Smith has ties to terrorists and is legitimately on the watch list, and some other John Smith (who has no idea that the other John Smith even exists) is pulled over while legally carrying a concealed weapon, the police will find that he is on the terrorist watch list and is thus a prohibited person. This will result in felony charges and an expensive uphill court battle for the unfortunate non-terrorist John Smith.
Living in a free society means that sometimes people will choose to do terrible things. That is the price we pay every time we go to the store, or get on a plane to go on vacation, or walk through Times Square. People can only be punished for what they have actually done; this is not Minority Report, there is no department of pre-crime, and you can’t be denied your right to keep and bear arms because a bunch of panicky politicians are afraid of what you might do with them.