10 Top Time Saving Tech Tips

From David Pogue at TED

Why you should listen

Which cell phone to choose? What software to buy? Are camera-binoculars a necessity or novelty? As release cycles shorten and ever-shrinking gadgets hit the market with dizzying speed, it’s harder and harder to know what’s worth the investment. A tireless explorer of everyday technology, David Pogue investigates all the options so we don’t have to.

After happily weathering installation nightmares, customer service hiccups, and an overwhelming crush of backups, upgrades and downloads, Pogue reports back with his recommendations via his many columns, TV appearances and how-to books. And he does it all with relatable insight, humor and an unsinkable sense of pun, er, fun. All that, and he sings, too.

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Forum: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?

Liberty’s Spirit:  Absolutely NOT. As Voltaire said {paraphrased} about freedom of speech “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to my death your right to say it.” Freedom of speech is the right to insult people as much as you want and for them to insult you back. It is a precarious slippery slope deciding what is or is not permitted speech, because that tyranny will change depending upon who is in power at any given time. Additionally, without free speech society could not challenge, grow and develop into democracies. No ruler, potentate, oligarch or tyrant would ever allow anything they did to be challenged especially, by free speech. This is why free speech is a crime in the majority of countries in the world.

In fact, the first line of freedom is freedom of speech. It is why it is one of the 5 freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment. These are the rights that the founding fathers knew to be the most essential in order to preserve a democratic society. Freedom of speech may allow haters to vent their ignorance but it also allows you to answer them and to fight them. This is why the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality are so insidious, and why free speech advocates are enraged that the Obama administration is going to turn over certain operations of the internet to the UN. This organization is run by tyrants, absolute monarchies and oligarchs. The importance of the internet is exemplified by the fact that the overt first acts of these dictatorship is to cut off or severely limit access to the internet or internet programs like twitter.

The UN, in fact, may best be described as “Animal Farm,” without the human element of compassion. It is important to remember that the UN directorate, which is beholden to Islamist nations for their positions (due to voting blocs), is also pushing for a blasphemy law promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This law would punish anyone who questions Islam on any level. It is important to note that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration support such a law curtailing freedom of speech. These laws and dictator-run-groups are meant to cut off and prevent freedom of speech on every level. It is beyond comprehension how anyone in the political class of the United States would support curtailing our most basic freedoms, but our President and presumed democratic nominee for 2016 do apparently support tyranny.

Freedom of speech is not easy. But it is important to note that freedom of speech is the hallmark of the enlightenment period. Without it all humanity would revert back into serfdom. Meant only to serve the political classes’ desires and wants, just as our ancestors were forced to serve the ruling/royal classes during much of human history. Like the novel “1984,” the march forward into a better world would end and we would see another Dark Ages. Something, by the way, the international political classes are trying to engineer by promoting and capitulating to Islamist aggression coupled with political correctness and cultural relativism worldwide, including in the United States.

Simply Jews: No.

Sorry, it was a partial answer only. Here is a full one:

No. No.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Oh, that’s easy!

NOT!!

Perhaps the most contentious issue in Free World?

If liberty of expression is not highly valued, as has often been the case, there is no problem: freedom of expression is simply curtailed in favor of other values. Free speech becomes a hot issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial.

The first thing to note in any sensible discussion of freedom of speech is that it will have to be limited. Every society places some limits on the exercise of speech because speech always takes place within a context of competing values. In this sense, Stanley Fish is correct when he says that there is no such thing as free speech (in the sense of unlimited speech).

If free speech were ‘absolute,’ you could even lawfully kill somedobby, as long as you were doing it to make some statement.

On all sides of the debate, we can agree that speech is necessary for democracy. Governments ought not to abridge speech en masse. Government must show how the speech in question poses a genuine danger.

FreeSpeechDebate has an excellent piece up that systematically knocks out 19 arguments in favor of Speech Control. Well worth checking out, here is just a killer sample

The ‘globalisation’ argument:

‘The 2005 Danish You Know Who cartoons demonstrated how free speech in the West, even if harmless at home, can have violent repercussions around the world. In an era of instantaneous electronic communications, overly broad freedoms of speech can have dangerous consequences.’

Reply:

It is illegitimate a priori to suggest that one society’s norms of democratic citizenship must be abridged because members of another society dislike its exercise. By analogy, in many societies, electronic communications revealing scantily clad Western women also provoke hostility, which, however, would scarcely justify calls for Western women to start covering themselves up.

JoshuaPundit : Our Supreme Court has weighed in on this a number of times, and originally came up with an excellent dividing line in Schenck v. United States where Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. coined the “clear and present danger” doctrine. Simply put, if speech was intended to result in a crime and had a good chance of succeeding, it was no longer protected speech.I largely agree with that doctrine. It’s a necessary line for the protection of a civil society.

Since then, our courts and our politicians have steadily chipped away at that doctrine, with various ‘hate speech’ codes in universities and other institutions being upheld whether they advocated crime and violence or pose a clear and present danger or not. This is a huge danger to the First Amendment that, frankly, comes with the Left’s increasing use of identity politics to foster division in this country. A president like Barack Obama who makes use of this as a major part of his political strategy is the natural result.

This danger to our traditional freedom of expression from this new ‘right to be offended’ has spread over the American landscape, the more so because the use of partisan identity politics is unequal, as is the fear of retaliation. An Al Sharpton, a Gloria Alred or a Louis Farrakhan can freely indulge in blatant sexism, racism or anti-semitism with no consequences, while it is open season on anyone not belonging to one of the protected groups who is guilty of what Orwell would have called thought crimes.

Another part of what I’ll call the Fear Factor is the introduction into America of fundamentalist Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood by our last three presidents. While hardliners belonging to other religions may be unpleasant and call names, Islam mandates the violent death of those whom ‘insult’ its doctrines,its prophet or its Qu’ran and a significant number of Muslims agree with that view entirely. The fear of Muslims and how they might react to something has become so pervasive in our media, military, law enforcement, academia, and politics that in itself, a significant amount of Islam and how it is practiced and proselytized in the West has become that clear and present danger Justice Homes spoke about, any number of decent, peaceful Muslims not withstanding. It has even infected our Supreme Court to the point where one Supreme Court Justice has been open about abrogating our First Amendment and another certainly leans in that direction in order to avoid any possibility of angering restive Muslims.

These threats to our First Amendment freedoms are something we are going to have to deal with in the future if we wish to retain them at all.

The Razor: Tricky question.The cliché is the limit of free speech is yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there isn’t one, so free speech isn’t without limits. Another example would be personal threats. One isn’t free to threaten to kill another. The problem is once you draw the line it’s difficult to stop moving it.

Take for example the Islamic extremists in the UK who threaten non-believers. Is that protected speech? I would say it is. However if the extremists threaten to kill David Cameron or move from the general to the specific, such as threatening to kill Jews or a British soldier, then in my view they’ve crossed that line.

But the question really is nowhere near that limit. It’s really about offensive speech. Muslims and their Leftist useful idiots have become quite adept at using speech codes to silence opposition to Islamic extremism in the UK as well as on American college campuses. These codes have nothing to do with protecting against threats and everything to do with silencing opposing voices through the justification of causing offense. The “logic” behind such codes is that there is an equivalent between mental anguish and physical pain; therefore the old adage that “sticks and stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me,” is false. Words can hurt just as much as physical abuse. That’s bulls**t. This twisted logic also assumes that humans can exist in a social state of non-confrontational bliss, which is also bullocks. Such a state assumes a level of conformity in thought and action that simply isn’t achievable without social engineering on a scale that has only been glimpsed in books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Given that such utopian social engineering underlays both Leftist and Islamic ideologies, I suppose it’s not a surprise to find these unlikely bedfellows united in their promotion of speech codes limiting the free expression of contrary ideas and opinions.

It would be nice to live in a completely free society, one without lines, but the real world demands we must set boundaries and that means drawing lines. But these lines should be set as close to the ideal as possible, meaning that the cases that cross the line and the impact such crossing has affects as few people as absolutely necessary.

The Independent Sentinel:No. People shouldn’t be rude but it’s the price we pay for free speech. Sensibilities never trump free speech.

People shouldn’t be sued or have to accommodate others for their inherent right to free speech simply because someone is offended. If every time we speak, we have to think of who we might offend, we lose far too much freedom.

I was giving a lecture one day and I referred to my flip chart. Everyone’s gasped. I had no idea why. Apparently it’s an insult to Philippine people. Where do we stop if we have to worry about people’s sensibilities? Do we have to know insults in other languages and do we have to know the origin of words because they might have been offensive once?

The recent event on the Bundy ranch should have everyone offended. The government, in addition to the whole martial law thing, set up free speech zones far from the ranch. They made a point of calling them free speech zones. Using those words was meant to send a message that the rest of the areas are not free speech zones. It was done deliberately because they want us to get used to the idea.

All of America is a free speech zone!

Bookworm Room : No. Free speech must trump any ethnic or religious sensibilities. It’s that simple. Once you start carving out little exceptions, you stop having free speech, no matter how little those exceptions are initially. And once you lose free speech, you lose freedom which is easily lost and almost impossible to regain.

Part of living in a free society is having a thick skin. One of the most terrible things the Left has done to America is to turn various ethnic, religious, racial, sex, and gender identity groups into panicked, hysterical bundles of over-exposed nerves. Few things are more dangerous than an angry, aggressive coward fighting for what the coward perceives to be his survival — and that’s what we’ve all been trained to be over the last forty, and especially the last twenty years.

The Glittering Eye :No. Your free exercise ends where my freedom of expression begins. The First Amendment is pretty clear on this subject and, since it’s incorporated, that applies to state and local governments as well.

There is no guarantee of not being offended by the speech of others, either explicit or implied.

AskMarion: In the end each of our relationships with and to God is all that matters, and so I believe it is with countries and societies as well. As for organized religion, I have gone through my phases with religion(s) in general, individual churches and practicing at all, throughout my life. And looking at America’s changing relationship with God and His principles on which our nation was founded and the corresponding decline in America, American society and in our standing in the world, I would say that there is a fine line between the importance of freedom of speech, basic principles and ethnic or religious sensibilities.

I believe that in the end, if you do not have freedom and the right to speak out you lose it all, or at best life becomes very difficult, but in order to have freedom and allow freedom of speech, it requires civility, understanding and some compromise by all. For if you destroy the vehicle that allows you your freedoms, even if they aren’t perfect, you will soon find yourself living in anarchy and in a place that just might not allow you any freedom or at least not the freedoms that are important to you.

We are now seeing the exact opposite of what our Founders envisioned. We are living in a country where you can be destroyed, fired, and singled out for speaking up or donating to a cause that aligns with your religious beliefs, especially if you are a Christian, in deference to groups that have made huge strides in their freedoms in the past 10-years, because average Americans were willing to compromise.

Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders believed that they were inspired by God and that God had his hand on America. They believed that there definitely should not be central religion, like in Great Britain, but they believed that our country and Constitution would be best served if based on Judeo-Christian principles…. and they absolutely supported prayer at governmental events and in school as well as the mention of God and posting of the 10 Commandments in founding documents and governmental buildings and monuments. That is the basis for the huge misunderstood principle of separation of church and state, that is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

So yes… sometimes what is best for the society or country as a whole, must prevail. There are few absolutes, so although generally freedom of speech must be the measuring stick, sometimes common sense or the greater good must prevail because there is no freedom in chaos.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Her Own Words

 

 

HERE is a link to her Foundation and some informational pages:
HONOR VIOLENCE
FORCED MARRIAGE
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Here are some relevant articles on the Brandeis controversy:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her own words

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response to Brandeis

What I would have said at Brandeis: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Here is one of the speeches Ayaan Hirsi Ali gave that has her opponents up in arms:

Raised on Hatred.

Would someone tell me why being against female genital mutilation, gender apartheid, honor violence and fighting for the belief that women are entitled to equality with men is somehow racist simply because the religion being opposed is Islam? This is political correctness and cultural relativism run amok. Shame on Brandeis University. Moreover they denigrate the US Constitution and the right of freedom of speech so enshrined in our nation.  They embarrass their namesake.

Whining About Mansplaining Instead of Fighting Female Genital Mutilation

NOTE: Remember CAIR, that opposes Hirsi Ali, is an unindicted co-conspirator in a case that sent people to prison for funding terror, and is a political arm of the Islamist Moslem Brotherhood in the USA. The Moslem Brotherhood gave birth to organizations like Al-Qaeda. CAIR also supports the denigration of the US First Amendment by promoting anti-blasphemy laws that would curtail freedom of speech by penalizing you if you criticize Islam. This law is promoted by the UN and the OIC, and our presumed Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential race.

I am infuriated and ashamed of my fellow Jews. Glad that I withdrew my application to Brandeis when I applied to college.

Posted in freedom, honor violence, human rights, ideals, islamists, liberal, Middle East, political correctness, Progressives | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Watcher Council Results-Week of April 11, 2014

Alea iacta est…the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results  for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“In war, truth is the first casualty” -Aeschylus

“We maintain peace through our strength; appeasement only invites aggression” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” –
– Jeremiah 8:11

http://usa2mom.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/f639a-joshua_dali_sun.jpg?w=640

This week’s winner was Joshuapundit’s  Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead – And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive . Here’s the real story of how things imploded and why, and how the Obama Administration set things up for failure. I attempt to wrap up the post mortum and show that there’s an opportunity for real peace here,what I think it would take and what it might look like Here’s a slice:

While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.

The Obama Team would never admit it, but they’re fully aware that it was Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.

Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.

Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas’ own Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of ‘Palestine’ as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a ‘family reunification program’ essentially a recognition of a Palestinian ‘right of return’; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.

And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!

Kerry’s deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he’d submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel’s security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren’t there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.

Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for ‘war crimes’ at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.

Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.

Much more at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matt WalshHey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Walsh’s defiant blowback to the Gay Mafia and progressive fascism in general, and it makes for some stirring reading.

OK, here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

li>Sixth place *t* with 1/3 voteThe Glittering Eye -The Distraction

li>Sixth place *t* with 1/3 voteThe RazorObamacare Tax Is Here for Individuals Too

Non-Council Winners

li>Third place with 1 2/3 votes -Victor Davis Hanson-America’s New Anti-Strategy submitted by Bookworm Room

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter…..’cause we’re cool like that!

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The Black Soul That Inhabits John Kerry (Updated)

UPDATE: Tuesday April 8, 2014. Apparently our erstwhile Secretary of State has decided to blame Israel alone for the failure of his peace process. “Poof,” he obnoxiously told the Congress, went his peace process because Israel refused to release more murderers of their children after the Palestinians reneged on the peace process agreements. Now comes word that the Obama administration is actually orchestrating this latest anti-Israel hate fest. It was all part and parcel of the plan to always blame Israel no matter what Israel agreed to. If you don’t think so, read Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Obama just before Kerry’s latest trip to the Middle East. Obama has always had contempt for the Jewish State. The difference is that his administration is no longer hiding their true feelings.

Meanwhile Kerry has decided to side with Abbas in telling Israel that it is not necessary for the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish State. Ignoring that this is the crux of the issue. He also didn’t seem upset when Abbas said that he would never sign any agreement to end the conflict with Israel, even as part of a peace deal. Kerry and Obama also do not condemn the overwhelming antisemitism coming out of the PA and in fact Obama just called Abbas a man of peace who always condemns violence. I suppose in the new lexicon of the Left when you name squares for the terrorists who murdered children and give stipends to terrorists who murder defenseless Jewish civilians it is considered an avenue for peace. What is it on the part of Obama and Kerry that elicits such ignorant understanding of reality? Antisemitism is not enough for some as an answer. I think it speaks volumes.

An interesting observation: There was an outcry concerning the targeting of the Jewish institutions in Kansas this past week by a former KKK grand dragon and neo-Nazis.. As rightly there should be. On the other hand, on the first evening of Passover, a Jewish family was attacked just outside of Hebron on their way to Seder, by Islamist terrorists. The father was killed. No outcry by the world. No outrage by the world.Not a word of condemnation by anyone. It seems if you go against the accepted international perceptions of how a Jew is to behave you deserve to be killed. As Bret Stephens asked when the Fogel family was butchered in their beds,  Are Israeli Settlers Human?

Or is it something even more insidious like what we just witnessed at Brandeis with Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Capitulation. Spinelessness. Cowardice. A traitorous betrayal of human freedom. Has the world come to the conclusion that if Islamists target you, it is your own fault. You broke the cardinal rule of not being a good dhimmi and doing as you are told by the Islamists worldwide. Only when you cower in appropriate fear and awe will those who pervert their humanity ignore you. You cower in fear and angst hoping that the Islamist threat passes over your doorstep just as the Angel of death passed over the Israelites on its way to smite the Egyptian firstborn. You tremble in fear and awe hoping that the crocodile will eat you last. Those of you who do not condemn the murder of innocents, whether in Hebron, Tel Aviv, Paris, Afghanistan, Iran or Kansas, wallow in the muck of human depravity and are no better than the murderers themselves. The deafening silence denigrates all those who have and are still sacrificing for freedom. For shame.

******

Kerry made a big deal out of telling the world that settlements and the 1967 armistice lines (what he likes to incorrectly call borders) was not to be part of any blackmail scheme put forth by Abbas.  Yet, the one requirement he insisted on allowing the Palestinians  to push on Israel for the right to sit at a negotiating table with PA representatives, was the release of pre-Oslo  murderers. Read the rest HERE.

Posted in antisemitism, Iran, islamists, Israel, Jewish community, liberal, Middle East, national security, Obama, Palestine, Palestinians, Progressives, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment