Monthly Archives: November 2009

AT&T vs. Verizon (FIGHT!)

Remember when you’re a kid, and you were involved in some sort of innocent group activity, then some kid gets aggravated for something minor and wails off and punches another kid in the face?

Did you immediately pounce into action, separate them, and shout, “ALL RIGHT! BREAK IT UP! LET’S ALL JUST THINK CLEARLY HERE!”

Of course not. You did what all the other kids did. You started chanting, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” and you enjoyed the next twenty seconds more than you would your entire birthday.

It’s a terrible flaw in the human psyche: we love fights.

Why do you think millions of people gather around televisions across the world to watch every single UFC event? Grown men, some of them fairly sensible (fairly, or “barely?”), pummel each other in the face, twist arms and legs into unnatural angles, scream into television cameras, then throw on t-shirts within seconds of winning a fight that have roughly seven dozen logos plastered across them.

The Romans had their gladiators. We have our UFC. The Middle Ages had their jousting. We have our Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Victorian aristocrats had their duels. We have our Dancing With the Stars.

Yes…that last one was out of place.

But you get the idea. This is why I am absolutely filled with glee about AT&T and Verizon getting into a little spat with each other over Verizon’s feisty (but accurate) commercials that show just how widespread its 3G coverage is when compared to AT&T’s.

As a brilliant centerpiece of the commercial, Verizon pokes fun at AT&T/Apple with “There’s a map for that,” wittily playing off the annoying popular “There’s an app for that” commercials.

But now AT&T is suing Verizon. Why? Because’ they claim that the advertisements are intentionally misleading about AT&T’s network, implying that the white areas on the map don’t get coverage.

What this proves is what I’ve been claiming about AT&T for years: either they’re sleazeballs who are trying to kill an effective ad by manipulating the legal system or THEY THINK WE’RE IDIOTS.

The map is accurate. Period.

What Verizon is proving is that they have a far superior 3G coverage area. AT&T isn’t even trying to dispute that point. AT&T lagged behind in preparing their network, so now they’re being slaughtered by Verizon in regards to widespread coverage quality.

(quick note) – If you want to know the different between 3G and regular cell coverage (regular coverage being what AT&T is apparently so proud of), all you have to know is that 3G is like broadband Internet while AT&T’s EDGE network is like dial-up. Translation: EDGE is like a reminder of the days when you signed onto AOL, but were first greeted by a long and painful “WEEEEEEEEKKKKRRRRRRRCCCCCKKKKKKKEEEEEEBBBBRRRKKKK” sound before you logged on and waited ten minutes for a simple web page to load.

I’m in one of AT&T’s 3G-available regions of the country, but I still get horrible coverage. I can’t even carry on a conversation with confidence that it won’t get disconnected while at my house (again, inside AT&T’s 3G region). I’ve not only thought about switching to Verizon one day, but doing so even if it meant leaving my iPhone behind.

So AT&T, keep your lawsuits going. You’re looking like an even bigger jerk than people thought you were.

IMPROVE YOUR NETWORK!

UPDATE: Verizon’s response to AT&T’s lawsuit?

“AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s “There’s A Map For That” advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.”

PER-KOW!!!

Yo Joe!

Joseph Lieberman stands yet again as a voice of reason crying out in the wilderness. In regards to the recent Fort Hood shootings committed by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, this article (from breitbart.com) says Senator Lieberman…

…said Sunday he wants Congress to determine whether the shootings constitute a terrorist attack and whether warning signs that Hasan was embracing an increasingly extremist view of Islamic ideology were missed.

Classmates who participated in a 2007-2008 master’s program at a military college told The Associated Press that they complained to faculty during the program about what they considered to be Hasan’s anti-American views, which included his giving a presentation that justified suicide bombing and telling classmates that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, Hasan, as recently as 2008, gave a presentation that justified jihadist suicide bombings. The whole Islamic law trumping the Constitution thing could be argued as reasonable from a personal level, depending upon what one’s interpretation of “Islamic law” is, but suicide bombings in the name of Allah?

Why was this man still in the Army? Was the military worried about a potential backlash from the Muslim community if they brought up that a major was espousing violence in the name of Islam?

Again, from Sen. Lieberman:

“If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance,” Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He should have been gone.”

Thanks for speaking up, Joe. However…

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Sunday it’s important for the country not to get caught up in speculation about Hasan’s Muslim faith, and he has instructed his commanders to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim reaction to the killings at the Texas post.

If anyone is beating up Muslims in the streets because of this, then they deserve to be arrested. However, we’re not supposed to get caught up in speculation about Hasan’s faith, despite the fact that he cried “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great) every time he shot a victim in cold blood at Fort Hood? Hasan apparently targeted people in uniform during his attack, seeing his act of violence as retaliation for American involvements in the Middle East.

It is now coming out that U.S. intelligence agencies were aware that Hasan was attempting to contact al Qaeda using “electronic means.” When? Roughly a month before the attack.

According to the officials, the Army was informed of Hasan’s contact, but unclear what, if anything, the Army did in response.

Why not yank the guy out of the military? Put him in the brig. Grill him. Waterboard him (kidding, kidding)…

JUST DO SOMETHING!

Because of bureaucracy’s failings at acting on intel suggesting Hasan, we’ve lost (to date) twelve servicemen and women and one innocent civilian.

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Fort Hood

The wife and I were traveling at the time of the Fort Hood shooting, and didn’t have a clue about it until we laid down at the hotel and turned on the TV. We tried to play catch-up for twenty minutes, but still didn’t have any information. It was as if the news channels were purposely omitting the alleged shooter’s name for long periods of time.

Finally, I got online and started reading about the day’s events and the soldier’s history. I also read about President Obama’s request for people to not “jump to conclusions.” What exactly does that mean?

What it means is that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a disgruntled Muslim, but we shouldn’t take that into consideration. What it means is that Hasan made disturbing comments about the United States’ involvement in the Middle East to students, but we shouldn’t take that into consideration. What it means is that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” according to several witnesses, before he opened fire on his comrades, but we must not take that into consideration.

When a pastor came out in front of his congregation and said that he prayed for Obama’s death, I condemned his actions. When a Christian killed a doctor who performed abortions, I condemned his actions. When a “family values” Christian Republican politician is listed as having cheated on his wife with prostitutes, I condemned his actions.

When a Christian does something inherently un-Christian, I have no problem telling people, “He/she doesn’t reflect Christianity.”

Christianity is not, doctrinally, a violent religion. If you read Jesus’ teachings, He was stunningly anti-violence. He taught peace with other me. He taught us to turn the other cheek. He taught to love your enemies.

Does the teachings of Islam teach a love for your enemies?

You decide. Here are a few verses from the Qur’an:

9:5-6 – Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them.

4:89 – They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

8:39-42 – Say to the Infidels: if they desist from their unbelief, what is now past shall be forgiven; but if they return to it, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it God’s.

2:191-193 – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.”

5:33 – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

8:12 – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

9:123 – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

48.29 – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”

From the Hadith:

Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

Abu Dawud (14:2526) – The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, “There is no god but Allah” and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist)

Muslim (1:33) – the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah

Muslim (20:4645) – “…He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!”

Muslim (20:4696) – “the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihid died the death of a hypocrite.'”

Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Ibn Ishaq: 992 – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” Muhammad’s instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

From The Religion of Peace (a web-site dedicated to the nature and origins of Islamic violence:

Other than the fact that Muslims haven’t killed every non-Muslim under their domain, there is very little else that they can point to as proof that theirs is a peaceful, tolerant religion. Few verses in the Qur’an can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood, and those that do are earlier “Meccan” verses that are obviously abrogated by later ones. Small wonder that Muslim apologists spend a lot of time speaking of the “risks” of trying to interpret the Qur’an without their “assistance.”

Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Qur’an have played a key role in the many massacres in Muslim history, including the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni’s bloody conquest, including the massacre of those who defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today’s Turkey. Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

So ingrained is violence in the religion that Islam has never really stopped being at war, either with other religions or with itself.

Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns, massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking what was once the property of others for his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and killed those whom he could take prisoner. He inspired his followers to battle even when they did not feel it was right to fight, threatening them with Hell if they did not, promising them slaves and booty if they did. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle.

It is important to emphasize that Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and it was the companions of Muhammad who made the most dramatic military gains in the decades following his death. The principle set in motion early on was that the civilian population of a town was to be destroyed (ie. men executed, women and children taken as slaves) if they defended themselves. Although modern Muslim apologists often claim that Islam only attacked in self-defense, this is not only an oxymoron, but it is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Muslim historians and others going back to the time of Muhammad.

If I heard a massive outcry from the Muslim community every time something like this happened in the name of Islam, I would feel much better, but that’s not what I’m hearing. From the American Muslim community, I hear nothing but silence. From the Middle Eastern community, these actions are met with applause in the streets. What is the real Islam?

Hasan might not have been part of a terrorist organization, but he WAS, by definition, a terrorist.

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