Friday, June 13, 2008

Free Speech Forecast...

England is a few years ahead of the U.S. in the multi-cultural movement. Here's a peek at what we're likely to be dealing with a few years from now:

In February this year, Christian evangelists Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham were doing what Christian evangelists do: handing out Bible extracts. They were stopped by a representative of the law, threatened with arrest if they carried on preaching in “a Muslim area,” and warned that they might get beaten up if they came back.

Where did this incident take place? Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Pakistan, where Christian preaching is forbidden and apostates persecuted? No, this “Muslim area” was in Alum Rock, Birmingham, England. That’s right — England, cradle of free speech; England, a country with an established, if enfeebled, Church, and where seventy-five percent of citizens (at the 2001 census) describe themselves as Christian. The man who stopped the evangelists, calling their preaching a “hate crime,” was Naeem Naguthney, a police community support officer (PCSO), and a Muslim. Granted, a PCSO is not a full police officer, and has only limited powers of law enforcement. But which law was he enforcing? It looks suspiciously like Sharia.

I'm no fan of Christian evangelists – I run them off my property at every opportunity, as I would a Muslim or Jewish or Hindu proselytizer. But I am a big fan of free speech in public places, and that's what this is all about. We see it starting to happen here in the U.S. already, especially on college campuses, where a “right to not be offended” is being invented...


The best short analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's Boumediene decision I've seen is by Scott Johnson at Power Line. There's no reasonable way to excerpt it – you'll just have to go read the whole (short) thing...

Geekly Humor...

Here's a very entertaining (in a geeky sort of way) collection of 101 quotes related to computers and programming. A few samples:
I've noticed lately that the paranoid fear of computers becoming intelligent and taking over the world has almost entirely disappeared from the common culture. Near as I can tell, this coincides with the release of MS-DOS.
Larry DeLuca

Microsoft has a new version out, Windows XP, which according to everybody is the 'most reliable Windows ever.' To me, this is like saying that asparagus is 'the most articulate vegetable ever.'
Dave Barry

The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.
Henry Petroski

It has been said that the great scientific disciplines are examples of giants standing on the shoulders of other giants. It has also been said that the software industry is an example of midgets standing on the toes of other midgets.
Alan Cooper

There are only two industries that refer to their customers as 'users'.
Edward Tufte

Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter.
Eric Raymond

First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.
John Johnson

PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.
Jon Ribbens

If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution.
Robert Sewell

If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.
Edsger W. Dijkstra

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
Martin Golding