Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Society Of Ariel Castros

News coverage has quieted somewhat regarding Egypt.  There are bigger fish to fry in the Middle East as far as the media is concerned, particularly in Syria, where the use of chemical weapons has become the hot-button topic.

I think the focus should be brought back to Egypt for a moment.

I've recently watched some interesting TED Talks from oppressed women from the Middle East (namely, Saudi Arabia) and have discovered an interesting juxtaposition between what's going on in the Islamic world and a recent event in our news locally.

The case of Ariel Castro may seem to have little to do with Egypt.  But upon closer inspection, it bears a great deal of similarity.  Castro kidnapped and confined three young women in his basement for an entire decade, forcing them to exchange sex for food and favors, getting them pregnant, disposing of the unwanted pregnancies in gruesome ways, and the list of horrors goes on.  What has this to do with the Middle East? It's as simple as listening to what Castro had to say at his sentencing hearing.

Castro insisted that the hearing was a sham, that he had done nothing wrong, that all the sex was consensual, and that the girls wanted to be under his protection, hidden away from the world. This sounds insane to any of us who are rational, and that's because it is. But here's the Middle East connection:

What, in Ariel Castro's argument, is different about how he viewed his captives and about how Muslim men view the women of their society?

The stunning answer is: there isn't one!

Think about it. The only difference between the captivity of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, and the millions of Muslim women who are kept locked indoors or buried beneath piles of hot black cloth, is the form of the prison. The males of the Muslim world are comprised of one, gigantic Ariel Castro population!

We condemn Castro as insane for his statements. Why then do we not condemn the Islamic world similarly? "She loves her captivity," "the forced sex is consensual," "she is happy in her subservient status." Are these statements really insane when they come out of the mouth of a professed Christian, yet sane when they come out of the mouth of a Muslim?

And now we come to Egypt, because the Ariel Castros of that country, going by the name of the Muslim Brotherhood, have tried to take advantage of a flawed structure in Egypt's first democratic election to attempt a takeover of a secular country, imposing Sharia bullshit and stealing away human rights and liberties. But the Amanda Berrys of Egypt escaped, and held enough sway over Egypt's military to oust the Ariel Castros, hopefully for good. Now, the Ariel Castros are fighting back, and they are twice as violent!

Yes, it's hard to see genocide being exacted upon anyone, but Islam is the sort of evil which seeks to hijack democratic liberties and make them subservient to its own ends. In the interest of "tolerance" it proceeds to seek police protection for its intolerance. In the interest of "religious liberty," it tries to outlaw apostates. In the interest of "freedom of speech" it tries to ban any negative expressions against its religion or its god. Criticism of Islam is labeled "hate speech," and there are some liberals who are damnably fool enough to buy into it.

Islam wants to kill democracy. Not figuratively, but literally. Freedom of speech means we are blasphemers. Freedom of religion means we are infidels. Insisting that we be free of their attempts to force their religion upon us means that we are intolerant. Well, since that is the case, we must meet violence with violence, and we cannot be tolerant of that which is not tolerant of us. We cannot beat this kind of evil without occasionally raising the gun and firing, because that's the only language such disguised Satanism understands. And if we are unwilling to meet fire with fire, then democracy will be thrown into a deep, dark basement, and the key will forever hang around Ariel Castro's neck.

Egypt understands.  60% of the country is secular, and means to stay that way. But they've lived with Islam in their back yards for hundreds of years, and they know how intolerant it can be. They were nearly cheated out of their democracy, and rightly demand a do-over. They know that the rioting must be put down under the jack boot of counter-violence, because those who are bound within a nutshell and count themselves the kings of infinite space desperately seek to impose their "freedom" upon the rest of us.

Way to go, Egypt! Be sure to give those Ariel Castros a black eye on behalf of America! We love you!

And may we be so wise when the time comes, because it will.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Time Warner Customers: Demand Your Rebate!

I find it somewhat interesting that Time Warner Cable has now axed all of its CBS affiliate stations in key municipalities.  According to them, the programming is not there because of the excessive demands being made by the network for re-broadcasting fees.  But the network executives beg to differ, claiming that it's Time Warner which is being unfair by demanding rates that would undermine the network's profitability anyway.  On both sides, editorials are being broadcast which preach their side of the argument.  As is usually the case with entertainment executives, both sides are wrong.

Oddly, here in Milwaukee, it is the NBC affiliate, WTMJ Channel 4, which is the odd one out. It's out for the same reason the CBS stations are out in other markets.  In those areas, like New York or L.A., CBS is the top market. In Milwaukee, WTMJ is the dominant news and entertainment outlet.  It's all a matter of who's on top and where.

There is a key lesson to take away from this, and it has to do with free market capitalism. If perfectly balanced, free market capitalism ensures competition between businesses, which lowers prices to their minimum possible value.  But if taken to its fullest logical conclusion, this means that profits become almost zero, at which point there is very little point in being in business at all. Yes, the free market works for the consumer, but not always perfectly, because if there is no profit at all in the business, the goods don't get to market, no matter how badly the goods might be needed. In the case of Time Warner vs. CBS, both sides can't agree because a fair deal for both sides means no profitability for either one.  The free market has failed, and so the goods end up not getting to market. Yes, capitalism works, but it does have its flaws.

My take on this is simple: I don't care! All I care about is Time Warner providing me with what I, and you, paid for. Time Warner couldn't reach a new contract agreement, and so many stations went off the air. What they forget is that they already had an existing contract with YOU, the customer, and that contract has now been violated! They agreed to provide you with certain channels at a set price.  Now, some of those channels are gone.  They broke their deal with you. Hell, it's not like that deal was even fair to begin with, as you are paying $50 to $80 per month just to have advertisements blared at you from every one of the 2000 channels you are presumably getting quality entertainment from, when your favorite show finally gets a word in edgewise.

So, if channels are missing, calculate the percentage of favorite shows you watch which have been lost, multiply that against the monthly rate you pay to Time Warner, and then demand your rebate!  Maybe it's only $2 or $3, but if we all demand it at once, it will amount to millions!

Well, if you break millions of contracts in order to be hard-nosed with ONE contract, just because that contract happens to be with another too-big corporation, then you deserve to lose all that money!