Rep. Michelle Bachmann and the Urban Legend

Today, we have a video daily double.  Play along at home and see if you can win the prize.

In early October of this year, Rep. Michelle Bachmann said The news media should do a penetrating exposé and take a look.  I wish they would.  I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America or are they anti-America?  I think people would love to see an exposé like that. (view video clip starting at about 1 minute and 50 seconds)

To me, this leaves no doubt that she believes some Congress-critters are anti-American, and that with investigation Americans could find out who these critters are.

Cue up an interview last week on Hannity and Colmes in which she was asked about this, and she claims she never said it – it is an urban legend.  Responding to a quote read by Alan Colmes taken word-for-word from the above-viewable video, she says Actually, that’s not what I said at all.  Actually that’s not what I said.  It’s an urban legend that was created.  That isn’t what I said at all. (about 15 seconds in)

I didn’t say the media needs to investigate Congress-critters and find the anti-Americans!

Whatever.  I get that we all sometimes say things we don’t mean, have a slip of the tongue/brain and say something wrong, or say things we shouldn’t have (e.g., Obama’s 57 states or McCain’s my fellow prisoners).  But let’s at least ask that she own up to what she said and at least apologize or stand behind her suggestion that President-elect Obama and some Congress-critters are anti-American.  The first two times I ever listened to Rush Limbaugh, he did the exact same thing and wouldn’t stand behind the comments he made when his listeners called him out on them just 2-3 minutes later.  I realized then that he doesn’t really believe what he says, and now I know the same about Rep. Bachmann.

[tags]Bachmann, Lies, Urban Legend, Colmes, That’s not what I said[/tags]

Protected speech?

Should betting on predicted Presidential assassination date be legal?

Is betting on the assassination date of a newly elected President free speech? I would say yes, although it sure is poor taste. Is offering a betting pool on the assassination date and then saying Let’s hope someone wins similarly protected? I would argue that it is not. This changes expressing an expectation that an assassination will occur to something that instead looks to incite violence in a manner long ruled illegal. Or at least to be dangerously close to that. To me, the betting alone seems legal and protected, even if offensive and remarkably stupid. Including the indication of hoping for a successful assassination does not seem reasonably protected speech.

The Town Council in Standish condemned the sign on Thursday in a 6-0 vote and declared it reprehensible at a meeting where some residents defended the store owner, saying he had a right to free speech even if in bad taste, local authorities said.

. . .

The sign in the Oak Hill General Store asked customers to place a $1 bet on the date of Obama’s assassination, and said “Let’s hope someone wins,” the Portland Press Herald reported. It was called the “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.”

Am I way off here? Is this something that should be allowed? If you say yes, would you believe the same if this had happened 4 years ago, and the betting were instead for what date President Bush would be assassinated? If you say no, am I being too lenient in believing that the betting pool itself is legal without the Let’s hope someone wins quote? Where is the line on talk about expected/anticipated assassinations of our leaders?

[tags]Obama, Assassination, 1st amendment, Betting pool, Inciting violence, Free speech[/tags]

One man’s tragic tale documenting the horrors of WWII concentration camp life from the inside

We all know there are terrible tales of military heroism that we don’t get to hear until far, far later. One recent example of this that has come out is the tale of Anthony Acevedo, military medic assigned to a satellite camp of Buchenwald with others in his tropp because they looked like Jews. Because of how the military handles many sensitive incidents, particularly during war, this is a story that was never intended to be known to the general public.

Acevedo’s story is one that was never supposed to be told. “We had to sign an affidavit … [saying] we never went through what we went through. We weren’t supposed to say a word,” he says.

The U.S. Army Center of Military History provided CNN a copy of the document signed by soldiers at the camp before they were sent back home. “You must be particularly on your guard with persons representing the press,” it says. “You must give no account of your experience in books, newspapers, periodicals, or in broadcasts or in lectures.”

I am not here to question silencing those who have suffered through such events. I have worked in a classified environment, and I fully understand and respect the need to initially treat sensitive matters as classified. The military says the reason for secrecy is to protect escape and evasion techniques and the names of personnel who helped POW escapees, and I have absolutely no reason to question that. I do, however, think there is a need for an office responsible for reviewing
these cases after the fact. This is a story that is well worth knowing, and the events Mr. Acevedo describes seem to have no impact on the need to protect that the military says is the case. Certainly, 60 years after the war, I would can’t imagine why he needs to be kept under confidentiality agreement. Understand I’m not saying I know that it is fine for him to talk – I just can’t come up with a reason based on what I’ve read and learned that would support keeping confidentiality in effect.

That said, see some more below the break about Mr. Avecedo’s experience, and learn a little about how his agreement hurt him in the shortterm.

Continue reading One man’s tragic tale documenting the horrors of WWII concentration camp life from the inside

My FaceBook WTF?!? moment

Anyone who uses FaceBook knows there are ads in the sidebar.  I usually ignore them – I’ve been online long enough to automagically tune that stuff out.  Today, however, the FaceBook ad server caught my attention with this WTF moment:

Now I have to figure out just what I’m doing in my surfing that makes FaceBook think that first ad is appropriate for me.  Maybe I need to surf more straight pr0n?  I thought maybe the $1 million from the second ad would be available for me if I got involved with the hot gay men, but sadly, the money is pretend only.

[tags]FaceBook, WTF, Ad Service, More pr0n please[/tags]

ExtremeTech: Technologies we wish had caught on

Recently, I was reading an article at ExtremeTech discussing technologies the site editors wish had caught on. For the most part, I can see why the article creators wish the technologies had caught on, but I confess that I am mostly indifferent to or mildly in disagreement with the items they listed. One mention, however, I felt I could respond to since I long ago mentioned it here on the Blahg. I wanted to remark on the text made in the article in regards to the Microsoft Zune. Rather than start with what I agree with, I’ll pop the negative portion of my rather long comment out first, just below the break, so we can end on the happy, let’s all hug agreement section at the close.

Continue reading ExtremeTech: Technologies we wish had caught on

The Kudos Society – My take on the Open Source community

I am working on a set of posts in which I want to talk about Open Source products. Given how long just my introduction to these has grown, I will probably move them over to separate pages on the Blahg. To begin, I am writing a bit on why I am such a fan of Open Source, what tools I use and what tools I recommend for others, and why I try to participate in parts of the Open Source movement. The overall community of Open Source developers, users, and other contributors is something I call “The Kudos Society,” which may deserve at least a small bit of explanation as well.

All that said, what follows below the break is some of my personal history in joining this movement, which hopefully sheds some light on why I care so much about the status and health of Open Source overall.

Continue reading The Kudos Society – My take on the Open Source community