Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Month: February 2006 (Page 1 of 2)

The Egyptian Sandmonkey!

Last evening I took some time to read a number of items on a blog called Rantings of a Sandmonkey. The Sandmonkey describes himself as “… an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off.”

The Sandmonkey is an intelligent, humorous Egyptian who writes on both serious and silly topics. But when the subject is serious, his objectivity and intellligence especially shines through. His blog also includes numerous links to other blogs by Arabs friendly to liberty and reason.

It’s always refreshing to read well-reasoned, Western-friendly writings from Middle Easterners, and it’s important for keeping the bigot-bogeyman away from Western minds at a time when we keep seeing the evidence of massive M.E. irrationality. These bloggers and others like them deserve our attention.

A few of the Sandmonkey’s entries that I especially enjoyed last night:

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The Minnesota War Ad

According to a Washington Times editorial from February 23rd, the head of the state Democratic Party in Minnesota has demanded that television stations pull an ad showing Iraq war veterans and families of fallen soldiers who support the war. The ad is meant to counter those vets and families of slain soldiers who have come out against the war, such as Cindy Sheehan.

The editorial says that the state Democratic Party of Minnesota is trying to stifle debate on this subject and, from the article, it sounds like it to me.
But as long as they don’t try to OUTLAW the ads, the Democrats are within their rights.

That doesn’t make them right, however.

But as long as people are legally free to take their message to other stations or other kinds of outlets, communication will survive. Attempts to stifle dissenting views only make the stiflers look like goons.

Have a read of the editorial here:

An antiwar message from the Midwest

To view the ad, go here:


I’ve watched the ad, and find it strong in some respects and weak in others – there’s some appeal to emotion that I’d rather was left out. But overall I think it’s a reasonable and true ad.

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Wal-Mart a Threat to Christianity?!!!

Oh, this has GOT to be a joke!

No. I’m afraid it’s not.

Freedom to Shop

One religious group wants to ban cartoons of The Prophet, and now another claims that the presence of a Wal-Mart in their midst will interfere with their spirituality.

At least these Wal-mart (and K-Mart and Target and etc.?) banning Christians aren’t rioting and burning automobiles. But have the anti-cartooner Muslims inspired these anti-consumer Christians to try a similarly controlling, if non-violent, manipulation in the name of their religious sensitivities?

This is just bizarre.

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Freedom of Speech

The following links to an article that was written in 1989, when the Ayatollah Khomeni put out a fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie over his book “The Satanic Verses”. (That fatwa against Rushdie has recently been renewed, after the publication of the 12 Danish cartoons of Mohammed. The thinking, if you can call it that, is that if Rushdie had been killed over his book, Western cartoonists would not have dared to draw Mohammed.)

This article is as pertinent as in 1989. Western appeasement of those who threaten free speech with violence is still with us, and is still as stupid.

Religious Terrorism by Leonard Peikoff.

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Undermining Liberty for Profit

SHAME on Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Cisco!

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Note to the above companies: It’s not only your ability and capital investment that made your success in the market possible. It’s also your liberty. And now you help totalitarian China censor its people’s access to the Internet and you – Yahoo! – you help them bust dissident writers?

May all your smilies spit in your company’s face!

Get a clue, Yahoo! Monetary profit is a GOOD thing when you earn it by doing good things. But your wealth stands for what you have done to earn it. The next thing you buy with your bucks, you might want to look at it as a big ol’ commie sledgehammer and rethink your company strategy.

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Note to everyone else: Have a read of :
Congressman Christopher Smith Statement for Hearing on “The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?”

Here’s an excerpt: ” Good morning and welcome to this hearing on the Internet in China. We are here to examine a problem that is deeply troubling to me, and I believe, to the American people: that American technology and know-how is substantially enabling repressive regimes in China and elsewhere in the world to cruelly exploit and abuse their own citizens.”

You’ll need Adobe Reader to read it. Continue reading

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The War on Liberty

In 1979 there was an Islamic Revolution in Iran. I read about the imposition of a theocratic regime in horror, and expressed my horror to some people at a Christmas party. I was shocked to hear some of these people telling me off: “You should be more tolerant of other cultures. It’s not our place to criticize. They have their culture just as we have ours!” “If this is what the people want, then that’s fine. Don’t try to judge another culture by our standards!” Continue reading

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