President Obama: defender of the Islamic faith 1

This week we take two cartoons from PowerLine’s The Week in Pictures.

We like them both, equally.

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Posted under cartoons, Humor, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 21, 2015

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Obama appoints a Muslim terrorist supporter to counter terrorism 5

This is from Canada Free Press, by Matthew Vadum:

President Obama is appointing an openly terrorist-sympathizing Muslim to head a government office dedicated to countering Islamic State propaganda.

In April, Rashad Hussain will take over as director of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, a small office within the U.S. Department of State that Obama plans to make bigger. A new component called the Information Coordination Cell will be added to the expanded center and will reportedly be staffed by intelligence analysts. It will have a staff of around 80 people and will coordinate with other government agencies. The head-chopping barbarians of the Islamic State will no doubt cower in fear because the U.S. government has, as the newspaper notes, “more than 350 State Department Twitter accounts, combining embassies, consulates, media hubs, bureaus and individuals, as well as similar accounts operated by the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department and foreign allies”.

Hussain is reportedly a devout Muslim who maintains close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in the U.S. He has been spewing radical Islamic propaganda for years. As a law student at Yale University in 2004, Hussain whined that the prosecution of University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian was a “politically motivated persecution” calculated “to squash dissent”.

How slickly these would-be squashers of dissent have learn to use the language of freedom and tolerance to advance their intolerant totalitarian ideology! 

The academic was recently deported and he entered guilty pleas regarding his activities as a leader of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Hussain’s pro-terrorist activities have continued since he left college. In a 2008 paper for the Brookings Institution he argued that language that links Muslim terrorism to Islam itself should be avoided. “Policymakers should reject the use of language that provides a religious legitimization of terrorism such as ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamic extremist’,” he wrote. “They should replace such terminology with more specific and descriptive terms such as ‘Al-Qaeda terrorism’.” This is, of course, exactly what the Obama administration did upon coming into power the next year. Even today Obama argues strenuously that the U.S. is in conflict only with specific terrorist groups and not with the Muslim world as a whole.

In the same paper Hussain urged the U.S. to “welcome and encourage the further development of mainstream Muslim organizations and moderate institutions”.  He specifically referenced the work of the Fiqh Council of North America, which is linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Hussain has also written that, “The primary cause of broad-based anger and anti-Americanism is not a clash of civilizations but the perceived effect of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world.” This is, of course, the standard left-wing rationalization for Islamic aggression against the United States. It ignores the pattern of violent expansionism that has characterized Islam since the days of its founding prophet. It also ignores the fact that Islam, which is the Arabic word for submission, does not believe in the marketplace of ideas. Islam does not recognize separation of church and state. Its purpose from its creation has always been to conquer and eliminate all other religions. It must dominate.

President Obama, who nowadays makes no secret of his sympathy for Islamic terrorists, picked the right man to carry out his policies. Hussain has already been working for the Obama administration for five years. In February 2010 Obama appointed Hussain as his ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (previously known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference). [The expert on Islam] [Robert] Spencer describes the OIC as “the thuggish international organization that is engaged in a full-scale campaign to intimidate Western governments into adopting hate speech codes that will effectively quash criticism of Islam — including jihad violence perpetrated in its name.” OIC has long been pushing the myth that there is such a thing as “Islamophobia”.

Obama gushed over Hussain when he first appointed him to an administration post. “I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC — Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo [in 2009],” Obama said at the time. “And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.” (Hafiz is Arabic for “guardian” and refers to a man who has memorized all of the Koran.)

Of course, Hussain was a natural fit for the OIC, which itself is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. It consists of 56 member states plus the Palestinian Authority and aspires to impose shariah law on the entire world. It seeks to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate.

Now that Obama is safely reelected and the final off-year congressional election of his presidency is completed, he doesn’t care about appearances anymore. Obama doesn’t feel the need for the careful, studied, Alinskyite deception that marked his first six years in the highest office in the land. Now he is free at long last to be Obama and to let his Chicagoland, red-diaper baby, freak flag fly.

His despotic power is essentially unchallenged. 

Obama the Caliph 1

Islam is the enemy of the free world. It is the enemy of humanity. It is the enemy of America.

It’s leader is Barack Obama, bewilderingly the president of the United States.

Now that he does not have to face another election, he is ever more open about his prime task – to help Islam to power, conquest, and victory.

He is the Caliph-in-waiting, and if he succeeds in achieving the triumph of Islam, he may one day bear the title of Caliph Barack Hussein Obama.

20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Islamfrom D. C. Clothesline:

#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer.” [“Prettiest”, we think it was actually.]

#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world, including in my own country.”

#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

#6 “Islam has always been part of America.”

#7 “We will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities.”

#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

#10 “I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.”

#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.”

#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.”

#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

#14 “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.”

#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another’.”

#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

The list is followed by another, of disparaging remarks Obama has made about Christianity, which we are omitting. Our point is that he loves Islam. It is because he loves Islam that he consults with the Muslim Brotherhood and is helping Iran get the Bomb.

While Muslims are burning men to death in cages, slitting their throats in choreographed snuff films, burying children alive, enslaving women and children, raping girls, sticking human heads on poles, threatening Europe and America with violence, Obama holds a meeting to discuss with Muslims who have assisted terrorism every way they can, how to protect Muslims from hate and discrimination.   

We quote from an article at Canada Free Press, by Arnold Ahlert. (Note: Wherever he writes “Islamist”, we would say “jihadist”.) -

On Feb. 4, Obama hosted a meeting at the White House with 14 Muslim leaders, including Azhar Azeez, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Hoda Elshishtawy of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Both groups were founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The Muslim Brotherhood is the jihadist organization that spawned al-Qaeda, Hamas, and eventually  ISIS (as Arnold Ahlert explains in the same article, and is also discussed here); and some of its members are employed as advisers by the Obama administration.

Former congressman Pete Hoekstra was incensed. The Michigan Republican insisted it was “absolutely outrageous” for Obama to invite “the Muslim Brotherhood into our government to meet with the White House”.  “These are people who are committed to destroying our way of life,” [he] warned. “The policy failures go on and on and on, and that’s how we need to be addressing this president and challenging him that his policies are just not working.”

Such challenges will have to overcome that complicity, as well as the grim determination by this administration not to link terror[ism] with Islam. Both challenges are epitomized by the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism beginning today. As the AP explains, the Summit will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others, particularly disaffected young people”.

The words “Islamist” or “terror”? Nowhere to be found.

As for complicity, one of the Summit’s attendees is the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) an organization with extensive ties to terror[ism], including former Cambridge mosque worshipper Ahmad Abousamra who is currently ISIS’s top propagandist, as well as the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing.  The Cambridge mosque, ISB’s first house of worship was founded in 1982 by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, currently serving a 23-year prison term for his conviction as an al Qaeda fundraiser. Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of theMuslim Brotherhood, was a founding trustee at the ISB’s second mosque in Roxbury.

One of the Obama administration’s ostensible ideas for preventing recruitment and radicalization? State Department spokesperson Marie Harf [said] … we cannot “kill” our way to victory against ISIS. “We need, in the … medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs … ”

Jobs? Twenty-one Egyptian Christians went to Libya in search of jobs. ISIS decapitated every one of them.

The Obama administration is morally bankrupt. And as the history of the MB-ISIS connections presented here suggests, it is only a matter of time before Americans pay an unconscionable price for that bankruptcy.

And this is from an article by Joseph Klein at Front Page:

Obama prepped for his summit by meeting with a group of Islamists behind closed doors on February 4th.

This meeting was held at the request of Muslim Advocates, an Islamist group that has demanded a stop to what it considers unwarranted law enforcement surveillance of Muslim Americans and criticized the FBI for racial and religious profiling.

Obama administration officials who attended the meeting included Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

Jarrett is Obama’s Grand Vizier, and Rice and Rhodes come next in the hierarchy of the Caliphate. These three are the architects as well as the chief executives of Obama’s caliphate.

In addition to the Muslim Advocates’ executive director, Farhana Khera, two of the Islamists who attended were the past and current presidents of the Islamic Society of North America (Mohamed Magid and Azhar Azeez, respectively), which was reportedly established by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named on a list of “unindicted co-conspirators” in the federal terrorism prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

“This meeting could not have come at a better time,” said Farhana Khera, who was well aware of the president’s summit conference on “countering violent extremism” to be held two weeks later.

In its press release describing the February 4th meeting, Muslim Advocates said:  “Participants at the roundtable discussed a range of issues, including racial and religious profiling, anti-Muslim hate and discrimination, and the need for greater representation of American Muslims in government and the federal judiciary.”

The capital of the Caliphate will be Washington, D.C.

The only question is – how soon?

Jihadism in the White House 5

Is it possible that most Americans are waking up at last to realize what sort of person they elected president?

Hard to say. They – astonishingly – elected him twice!

Roger L. Simon for one is “flabbergasted” at what Obama is doing to America and the world. (But then, as far as we know – and we’d be flabbergasted to be told otherwise – he never voted for him.)

He writes with understandable emotion at P.J. Media:

Barack Obama  …. and the media and the brainwashed public that elected him are destroying our country (and the West) all by themselves.  They don’t need any secret conspirators in the back room. They’re all there in public view. And how.

Obamacare and the sabotaging of the immigration system were bad enough, but they are absolutely trivial compared to what is going on now.  We have the next thing to a jihadist in the White House.  From the inability to name Islamic terrorists as Islamic, to the failure to name Jews as the objects of homicidal anti-Semitism at a kosher market, to the complete omission of the word Christian when 21 Christians have their heads cut off (simultaneously!) for being Christian, we have in the Oval Office not only the worst president in the history of our country, we have the worst person to be president.

And now he is opening the door to a huge number of Syrian refugees, who knows how many of whom may be members of ISIS, al Qaeda or some group we haven’t even heard of yet. If I were a Christian or a Jew … I’d make sure [my] door was locked at night and [I] had exercised [my]  Second Amendment rights.

And if this weren’t enough, Obama is colluding with the Iranian ayatollahs as if he were a Shiite imam, not only to help them get nuclear weapons, but to form a permanent alliance with the United States against the Sunni world. How insane is that! …

But is Obama aware that the alliance is “against the Sunni world”? His closest political buddies are the Muslim Brotherhood, and they’re Sunni. He’s quite capable of being so confused that he hasn’t thought of that. But wouldn’t his Muslim Brotherhood advisers point it out?

I have to say I’m flabbergasted.  I never thought I’d be living in times like this. …

I wish I knew what to do, because convincing Obama to act is a double-edged sword. He is a horrible person to be a commander-in-chief and to put our troops in his hands is an awful thing to do to them. He will undoubtedly pull the rug out from under them just at the wrong moment. And they certainly know it. How could they not?

So what do we do?  Maybe hunker down and hope we make it through to 2016 with the right result.  It’ll be a long slog, and a miserable one.

We see it that way too.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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A man who wouldn’t want to go to heaven 6

Stephen Fry (fellow atheist) is urged by Gay Byrne to entertain the idea of an omnipotent, good, creator God, and speak to him at the gates of heaven.

So he tells the imaginary being, in blistering terms, that he is a monster of evil.

 

(Hat-tip to our reader and commenter Frank)

 

 

Posted under Religion general, Theology, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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The worst president of the United States 1

For Presidents Day we have taken this from Truth Revolt:

For President’s Day, #ILoveObamaTakes Over Twitter

But it’s not what you think.

On this President’s Day, #ILoveObama is trending on Twitter in celebration. But it looks as though the hashtag’s original intent of showing support for President Barack Obama has backfired with the help from those more inclined to sarcasm.

Following in the footsteps of “Thanks, Obama!” — where every possible situation-gone-bad is blamed on the president — and the thousands of kids tagging pictures of their unappetizing school lunches with “#ThanksMichelleObama,” #ILoveObama is shaping up to be the perfect outlet to show frustration with the current administration.

Here are some of the best so far:

Victoria Swoyer @3462727

Follow

#ILoveObama because he abandons a US marine in a Mexican prison but trades captured terrorists for a deserter!

4:53 AM – 16 Feb 2015

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Ban Collectivism @mrgeology

Follow

#ILoveObama <<< Because he believes in the sanctity of life.

4:51 AM – 16 Feb 2015

Follow

#ILoveObama because he has made the definition of racism crystal clear!

3:50 AM – 16 Feb 2015

 

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 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ @StenoJenny

Follow

#ILoveObama – he’s always looking out for Americans by hiring the best architects the taxpayers’ money can buy

3:24 AM – 16 Feb 2015

 

B98snmTCQAEk4nmB98snmWCYAE7xRQ B98snncCQAAuUHv B98snniCAAA5cLx

 ELLYMAYE @Ellysa_Maye

Follow

“No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change” -President Obama #ILoveObama

11:17 PM – 15 Feb 2015

Holly Fisher @HollyFisher723

Follow

#ILoveObama like Obama loves America.

7:00 PM – 15 Feb 2015

 

Doug Wakeman @catbiker

Follow

#IloveObama because I hate the Constitution, individual liberty, free markets separation of powers and thinking for myself.

 

Just Facts @1911gunnerguy

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#ILoveObama because Elections have consequences, and we are living it. #nightmare

5:42 AM – 16 Feb 2015

 

t_headrick @defeathemarxist

Follow

#ILoveObama because I don’t want to be audited.

5:40 AM – 16 Feb 2015

 

Remember when Bush took grinning pics selfies the same week terrorists executed an American? Me neither. #ILoveObama pic.twitter.com/q4gJDkLcVD

— Michael A Nöthem (@mikandynothem) February 16, 2015

 

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 #JeSuisCharlie Bee @bossyhoneybee

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#ILoveObama because he first loved himself. #selfiestick

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, February 16, 2015

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South Africa: a failure of power 14

South Africa, though saved some twenty years ago from the injustices of apartheid, is going steadily downhill.

We quote a letter from James E. Martins, teacher and lecturer:

What a fortnight it has been! Really, living in Johannesburg is difficult at the moment.We now have load-shedding daily – electricity cut off from ten in the morning till two in the afternoon. Infuriating. Seeing crowds of people rushing to banks and pharmacies before the blackouts is a disturbing sight. Shades of the Soviet Union …

Trade is suffering severely. I hear from my cousin in Oz that “the South African crisis” has even made Australia’s very parochial news reports. And no wonder! A country collapsing because of monopoly, corruption, and a complete failure to plan adequately should be newsworthy.

We are all  expected to be technologically savvy in the midst of such a crisis. At school, there is constant talk of greater use of smartboards, computer avatars, etc., etc. With the country’s electricity supplies at risk, it might be more sensible if we all polished our “chalk and talk” — and not a bad thing, either! (Nothing is superior to a teacher with personality and passion!) Still, it is maddening to live on “this isthmus of a middle state” between First World and disintegrating Third World. To give a rather trivial example, I do not know whether to complain to the local Post Office or simply to grind my teeth and wait: I have a host of orders from Amazon.UK  that have not arrived yet. Perhaps I should be patient. After all, I received a couple of Christmas cards a week ago. Africa!

By the way, it is estimated that, in Soweto, people owe R2 billion in unpaid rates for services – i.e. electricity. The ANC will never call such offenders to account for they – or their votes, rather – guarantee the ANC’s retention of power.

I attended an Advanced Programme English Conference this weekend, and had to endure everyone swooning over a YouTube snippet of a speech by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, on the “danger of a single reading”. This is the new catchphrase of the trendy Left. She sneered inevitably at white stereotyping of blacks – while unashamedly doing the reverse! – and made cheap gibes at John Locke. I had to button my indignant lips, but, in my own address, I did make an impassioned plea for accurate reading, not simply fashionable ones. Sadly, I fear that many of my colleagues did not realize my words were a criticism of the rapturously received anti-white diatribe. Adichie mocked whites who believe that Africa is a bloodsoaked mess in which helpless people await redemption by white imperialists.

Africa is a bloodsoaked mess. And there may be people who “await redemption by white imperialists”. But if so, they wait in vain.

Posted under Africa, Australia, Commentary, corruption, education, Literature, Race, South Africa by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 15, 2015

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What’s happening to the world wide web 0

We stand on the opposite side of the Great Political Divide (freedom v socialism) from Britain’s Guardian newspaper. But it covers the news better, and provides more useful information, than most of its competitors.

We quote from an extract it has taken from a book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.

The story of yesterday’s post was about the US government controlling our uses of the internet. Today’s story is about international controls on this last zone of freedom; and how a country could build a virtual wall round itself to cut itself off from the global internet  – and then enforce extreme censorship within its own “walled garden”.

Each state will attempt to regulate the internet, and shape it in its own image. The majority of the world’s internet users encounter some form of censorship – also known by the euphemism “filtering” – but what that actually looks like depends on a country’s policies and its technological infrastructure. …

In some countries, there are several entry points for internet connectivity, and a handful of private telecommunications companies control them (with some regulation). In others, there is only one entry point, a nationalised internet service provider (ISP), through which all traffic flows. Filtering is relatively easy in the latter case, and more difficult in the former.

When technologists began to notice states regulating and projecting influence online, some warned against a “Balkanisation of the internet”, whereby national filtering and other restrictions would transform what was once the global internet into a connected series of nation-state networks. The web would fracture and fragment, and soon there would be a “Russian internet” and an “American internet” and so on, all coexisting and sometimes overlapping but, in important ways, separate. Information would largely flow within countries but not across them, due to filtering, language or even just user preference. The process would at first be barely perceptible to users, but it would fossilise over time and ultimately remake the internet.

It’s very likely that some version of the above scenario will occur, but the degree to which it does will greatly be determined by what happens in the next decade with newly connected states – which path they choose, whom they emulate and work together with.

The first stage of the process, aggressive and distinctive filtering, is under way. China is the world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information. Entire platforms that are hugely popular elsewhere in the world – Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter – are blocked by the Chinese government.

On the Chinese internet, you would be unable to find information about politically sensitive topics such as the Tiananmen Square protests, embarrassing information about the Chinese political leadership, the Tibetan rights movement and the Dalai Lama, or content related to human rights, political reform or sovereignty issues. …

China’s leadership doesn’t hesitate to defend its policies. In a white paper released in 2010, the government calls the internet “a crystallisation of human wisdom” but states that China’s “laws and regulations clearly prohibit the spread of information that contains contents subverting state power, undermining national unity or infringing upon national honour and interests.”

The next stage for many states will be collective editing, states forming communities of interest to edit the web together, based on shared values or geopolitics.

For “edit” read “censor”. States’ governments will decide what values it shares with other states’ governments.

For larger states, collaborations will legitimise their filtering efforts and deflect some unwanted attention (the “look, others are doing it too” excuse). For smaller states, alliances along these lines will be a low-cost way to curry favour with bigger players and gain technical skills that they might lack at home.

Collective editing may start with basic cultural agreements and shared antipathies among states, such as what religious minorities they dislike, how they view other parts of the world or what their cultural perspective is  …

Larger states are less likely to band together than smaller ones – they already have the technical capabilities – so it will be a fleet of smaller states, pooling their resources, that will find this method useful. If some member countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an association of former Soviet states, became fed up with Moscow’s insistence on standardising the Russian language across the region, they could join together to censor all Russian-language content from their national internets and thus limit their citizens’ exposure to Russia.

Ideology and religious morals are likely to be the strongest drivers of these collaborations. Imagine if a group of deeply conservative Sunni-majority countries – say, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria and Mauritania – formed an online alliance and decided to build a “Sunni web”. While technically this Sunni web would still be part of the larger internet, it would become the main source of information, news, history and activity for citizens living in these countries.

For years, the development and spread of the internet was highly determined by its English-only language standard, but the continued implementation of internationalised domain names (IDN), which allow people to use and access domain names written in non-Roman alphabet characters, is changing this. The creation of a Sunni web – indeed, all nationalised internets – becomes more likely if its users can access a version of the internet in their own language and script.

Within the Sunni web, the internet could be sharia-complicit: e-commerce and e-banking would look different, since no one would be allowed to charge interest; religious police might monitor online speech, working together with domestic law enforcement to report violations; websites with gay or lesbian content would be uniformly blocked; women’s movements online might somehow be curtailed; and ethnic and religious minority groups might find themselves closely monitored, restricted or even excluded. …

There will be some instances where autocratic and democratic nations edit the web together. Such a collaboration will typically happen when a weaker democracy is in a neighbourhood of stronger autocratic states that coerce it to make the same geopolitical compromises online that it makes in the physical world.

For example, Mongolia is a young democracy with an open internet, sandwiched between Russia and China – two large countries with their own unique and restrictive internet policies. … Seeking to please its neighbours [and so] preserve its own physical and virtual sovereignty, Mongolia might find it necessary to abide by a Chinese or Russian mandate and filter internet content associated with hot-button issues.

What started as the world wide web will begin to look more like the world itself, full of internal divisions and divergent interests.

And full of tyranny.

Some form of visa requirement will emerge on the internet. … Citizen engagement, international business operations and investigative reporting will all be seriously affected. …

Under conditions like these, the world will see its first Internet asylum seeker. A dissident who can’t live freely under an autocratic Internet and is refused access to other states’ Internets will choose to seek physical asylum in another country to gain virtual freedom on its Internet. … Virtual asylum will not work, however, if the ultimate escalation occurs: the creation of an alternative domain name system (DNS), or even aggressive and ubiquitous tampering with it to advance state interests.

Today, the internet as we know it uses the DNS to match computers and devices to relevant data sources, translating IP addresses (numbers) into readable names, with .edu, .com, .net suffixes, and vice versa. No government has yet achieved an alternative system, but if one succeeded in doing so, it would effectively unplug its population from the global internet and instead offer only a closed, national intranet. In technical terms, this would entail creating a censored gateway between a given country and the rest of the world, so that a human proxy could facilitate external data transmissions when absolutely necessary – for matters involving state resources, for instance.

It’s the most extreme version of what technologists call a walled garden. On the internet, a walled garden refers to a browsing environment that controls a user’s access to information and services online. … For the full effect of disconnection, the government would also instruct the routers to fail to advertise the IP addresses of websites – unlike DNS names, IP addresses are immutably tied to the sites themselves – which would have the effect of putting those websites on a very distant island, utterly unreachable. Whatever content existed on this national network would circulate only internally, trapped like a cluster of bubbles in a computer screen saver, and any attempts to reach users on this network from the outside would meet a hard stop. With the flip of a switch, an entire country would simply disappear from the internet.

This is not as crazy as it sounds. It was first reported in 2011 that the Iranian government’s plan to build a “halal internet” was under way, and the regime’s December 2012 launch of Mehr, its own version of YouTube with “government-approved videos”, demonstrated that it was serious about the project. Details of the plan remained hazy but, according to Iranian government officials, in the first phase the national “clean” internet would exist in tandem with the global internet for Iranians (heavily censored as it is), then it would come to replace the global internet altogether. The government and affiliated institutions would provide the content for the national intranet, either gathering it from the global web and scrubbing it, or creating it manually. All activity on the network would be closely monitored. Iran’s head of economic affairs told the country’s state-run news agency that they hoped their halal internet would come to replace the web in other Muslim countries, too – at least those with Farsi speakers. Pakistan has pledged to build something similar. …

How exactly the state intends to proceed with this project is unclear both technically and politically. How would it avoid enraging the sizable chunk of its population that has access to the internet? Some believe it would be impossible to fully disconnect Iran from the global internet because of its broad economic reliance on external connections. Others speculate that, if it wasn’t able to build an alternative root system, Iran could pioneer a dual-internet model that other repressive states would want to follow. Whichever route Iran chooses, if it is successful in this endeavour, its halal internet would surpass the “great firewall of China” as the single most extreme version of information censorship in history. It would change the internet as we know it.

As the Guardian puts it (not necessarily implying disapproval): the net is closing in.

The last zone of freedom closing? 6

To “save” us from “corporations” that cannot be trusted not to interfere with our Internet uses, the power-grabbing, control fanatics of the Obama government are ready to come to our rescue.

Only, how much less do we trust government – any government, but especially this one – to safeguard our freedom?

This is from the Heritage Foundation:

The policy the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] is trying to enact is known as “net neutrality,” an unfortunately vague code word for government regulation of the Internet. Supporters of net neutrality will tell you the regulation is necessary to keep the Internet “free and open” and to prevent corporations from “throttling” network speeds, making it faster to download some things, slower to download others. And, in this doomsday, apocalyptic, dystopian future, only the FCC can save the day with more and more government regulations. …

The  reality is much different. FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, who opposes the net neutrality policy, explains that the policy isn’t needed, and regulation by the FCC can lead to even greater problems, such as rival Internet providers attacking each other in hopes of getting them regulated:

Everybody wants an open Internet that enhances freedom, but that’s what we have today. We already have enough consumer protection laws on the books to cure many of the hypothesized fears (that some see). The goal should be to make the market more competitive.

All we are going to do with this FCC decision is clog up the courts and increase billable hours for lawyers; litigation will supplant innovation. …

The net result [of net neutrality]— a slower and more congested Internet, and more frustration for users. Even worse, investment in expanding the Internet will be chilled, as FCC control of network management makes investment less inviting. The amounts at stake aren’t trivial, with tens of billions invested each year in Internet expansion. ,,,

The FCC doesn’t even have the legal authority to enact these regulations. Like any federal agency, the FCC can only issue regulations if Congress delegates it the power to do so. Though the FCC has the power to regulate telecommunications, it hasn’t been granted the power to regulate the Internet. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC’s attempt to regulate the Internet was outside the scope of its authority. That didn’t stop the FCC, though. It went ahead and issued new regulations anyhow.

That regulatory overreach is unfortunately all too common in the Obama administration. From the FTC [Federal trade Commission] to the FCC, the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to HHS [Department of Health and Human Services], an alphabet soup of agencies are issuing a spiderweb of regulations touching all corners of American life. The food we eat, the cars we drive, and now the Internet we surf are all subject to regulations by unelected bureaucrats.

The Internet is one of the Obama administrative state’s next targets.

Congress, thankfully, has taken note – this time. But Americans must take note, too, and heed their president’s promise. What he can’t do by law, he will do by regulation. And once enacted under the cover of night, such regulations are not easy to untangle.

Congress saving us? Not according to Julie Borowski, writing at FreedomWorks:

Two pieces of dangerous legislation are currently being debated in Congress that could forever change the Internet: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). The proponents of these harmful bills claim that it is necessary to stop online piracy, the illegal sale and/or distribution of copyrighted and trademarked products on the Internet.

Regardless of how well-intentioned the pieces of legislation may be or one’s perspective on intellectual property laws, SOPA and the Protect IP Act would severely cripple free speech and stifle innovation online.

The Internet is a prime example of what Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek called spontaneous order. One single institution does not control the Internet. This is primarily what makes the Internet so great. Billions of individuals all over the world are free to spread unrestricted information on the Internet. I actually became a libertarian largely because I was exposed to ideas that I never heard before on the free Internet. Can you imagine how terrible the Internet would be if it was centrally planned by the government? A centralized institution cannot possibly know or satisfy the unique wants of billions of individuals across the globe.

Despite the lack of centralized control, the Internet exhibits a high degree of order. As the Taoist Chuang-tzu said, “good order results spontaneously when things are let alone”. Self-policing has worked to a certain degree to keep harmful content off the Internet. As it currently stands, there are no government mandates requiring search engines to remove information. Many websites already voluntarily remove information deemed inappropriate. For instance, Google routinely screens out child pornography from its search results. Facebook and Twitter encourages users to flag malicious content that violates their terms of service. While self-regulation may not be perfect, it is much preferable to government regulation.

The House version SOPA and Senate version PIPA would grant the federal government unprecedented control over the Internet. Both bills would give the federal government the power to shut down literally millions of websites. SOPA, the most dangerous version of the two, contains vague language permitting the government to shut down any website that is found to “engage in, enable or facilitate” copyright infringement. Senior Fellow at New America Foundation Rebecca MacKinnon writes in the New York Times,

The bills would empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial. The House version goes further, allowing private companies to sue service providers for even briefly and unknowingly hosting content that infringes on copyright – a sharp change from current law, which protects the service providers from civil liability if they remove the problematic content immediately upon notification. …

SOPA and PIPA threatens our free speech. These bills forcibly require search engines and other third parties to remove links to rogue websites. This is a clear violation of our constitutional right to free speech as well as a burdensome regulation that will destroy jobs. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all search engines would likely have to hire countless new employees to ensure that no copyright infringing content is posted to prevent their websites from getting shut down by the government.

Social networking sites would surely prefer to spend money on growing their websites rather than complying with costly government rules. David Carr of the New York Times even writes that the bills would “probably not” stop online piracy. He further states that, “even if it made some progress toward reining in rogue sites, the collateral damage would be significant”. These proposed online piracy laws would have disastrous economic consequences while failing to fix the problems that they were supposedly intended to solve.

SOPA and PIPA would undermine the free flow of information on the Internet. This could be a dangerous slippery slope in which the federal government seeks more and more control over the Internet. The Egyptian and Chinese governments have actually shut down citizen access to the Internet over the past few years. Every authoritarian government ultimately desires to have complete control of information and communication technologies.

Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers who strongly opposed net neutrality are strangely cosponsors of SOPA in the House or PIPA in the Senate.

Yet, the proposed online piracy laws are equally as bad or perhaps even worse than net neutrality. SOPA and PIPA would disrupt the growth of technology and infringe on free speech. Any individual interested in preserving the freedom of the Internet should not support either version of this dangerous bill.

And this is from Canada Free Press, by Dr. Brad Lyles, commenting on the Obama administration’s proposals that will put an end to Internet freedom. He too does not agree that “Congress has taken note” and will save us “this time”:

This week one of two Republican FCC Commissioners leaked the new “Net Neutrality” Commandments that will become policy/law by March. At the same time the FEC [Federal Election Commission] is mulling increased regulation of the Internet to prevent “politicking” in that medium. The new information about the inevitable FCC and FEC rulings is demoralizing, deflating. It seems the deathblow to those few freedoms remaining to us. It is difficult to find hope. Government appropriation of the Internet is the last domino falling.

He is very pessimistic – even more than we often are:

All this occurs despite the majority of Americans self-identifying as Conservatives or as adherents to core Conservative principles. Despite our superior numbers we Conservatives nonetheless march toward a battle of total annihilation. It seems we are to be undone completely.

We are beyond the tipping point. Liberalism’s relentless brinksmanship and incrementalism, paired with its successful use of the “doubling effect” bring us now to the exponential growth phase of the Leviathan. Every day assaults us with news of more defeats, more freedoms lost. And every defeat is exponential in its effect, each one a hole in the dike portending our obliteration.

It is remarkable we have survived so long. Perhaps this fact alone rekindles hope.

Can one President save us? Not bloody likely. Could a Ronald Reagan save us? Not likely either. It’s almost as if we’re beyond saving, that we’ve finally arrived at the point where neither words nor actions matter … Like ill-fated protagonists in a Greek Tragedy, [we’re] doomed no matter what we do.

Our foes marshal larger forces each day, committing more and more atrocities each day. How can we be saved after we are already dead? How can we save our Country after it has already been destroyed?

Today is Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday 15

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Posted under Science by Jillian Becker on Thursday, February 12, 2015

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