An Open Letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer

Dear Mr. Cook,

We’re an Apple family. My wife and I have been using Macs exclusively for years (saving the Dell laptop I have from work). We use iPhones. We even have a Time Machine. We’ve all but decided to swap out our old Roku for an Apple TV. We’re not techies; neither of us could tell you how Apple works versus how PC’s work. It’s all wizardry as far as we’re concerned. Our preferance for Macs is probably an aesthetic thing. We just like them.

However, your recent op-ed in the Washington Post has made me wonder if I should start figuring Linux out.

This isn’t about me disagreeing with you. Unlike many on the left, I don’t screen my brands for political correctness. You’re allowed to have whatever opinion you want on Indiana’s RFRA law.

But this, this is a problem:

What is this? This the largest retailer of Apple Products in Saudi Arabia. It’s located at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah.

Are you, Mr. Cook, aware of what they do to gay people in Saudi Arabia?

How many executions in Saudi Arabia do you suppose have been recorded on an iPhone? Do you ever wonder about things like that?

Or take the United Arab Emirates, a country you visited less than six months ago, in order to open up markets to your product. Did you know that they still punish homosexual acts with imprisonment, fines, chemical castration, and even death?

If you know these things, do you care?

If you do care, do you just not care enough to forgo the potential profits?

And with all of that unanswered, just how seriously am I supposed to take your opposition to a law that has never once, the 28 states that have similar laws, been used to deny services to a gay person?

Because I’m rapidly approaching the conclusion that your opposition is but a nexus of bandwagon-jumping and empty posturing. I’m considering the notion that you like to stand up for your political ideals when its convenient and risk-free. Harder to meet with the Sheikh of Dubai when you got a fatwa hangin’ on your head, huh?

Hypocrisy is an easy charge to bring. We are all of us guilty of not following our principles perfectly in every instance. But to meet with a head of a goverment that castrates gays in December, and to issue a cri de couer against a state religious freedom law, that could be used to discriminate against gays, the following March constitutes a level of hypocrisy that fairly begs to be called out.

Thus, Mr. Cook, your moral preening on this issue is repellent. Your self-righteousness is nauseating. And I would kindly ask that if you are prepared to leave your politics at the door when doing business in sharia states, perhaps you will be good enough to do the same to your fellow countrymen.

Otherwise, Mr. Cook, I may just decide to replace my MacMini with a System76 Meerkat, my iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy, and to get that Roku 3 instead. If Mozilla can be purged, so can my house.

Yours,

Andrew J. Patrick

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In Which I Say All the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say About Hillary Clinton

Thanks to the Daily Caller for sparing me the trouble of reading the Super-HRC Supporters manifesto of fail.

Is Hillary Clinton polarizing? Always has been. Kind of a no-brainer.

Is Hillary Clinton calculating? I should hope so. Politicans that don’t calculate are failures. What I think this means is “insincere”, so let’s move on to…

Is Hillary Clinton insincere? Again, most politicians are. But Hill seems utterly incapable of establishing any kind of real sincerity. She reminds me of no one so much as Tracy Flick from Election, except she’s not cute anymore (is that sexist? Would it be all right if I said Bill wasn’t cute anymore either? Because he’s not).

Is Hillary Clinton disingenuous? I fell like we’ve covered this. The answer is yes. She has no firm commitment to principles. She talks like a lefty, when it suits her, but sits comfortably in Wall Street’s pocket. She makes unctuous noises about community but clearly doesn’t care about the little people. This is all a big game to her.

Is Hillary Clinton ambitious? She’s running for president, so I should hope so. Is her ambition the only thing about her that’s real? Maybe. She is the crowned representative of the Ruling Class, and she is here to collect what belongs to her, and that’s that. She is no different from her oily husband.

Is Hillary Clinton inevitable? As far as the Democratic nomination goes, it sure looks like it. Elizabeth Warren isn’t running, and Martin O’Malley doesn’t have the head start that Hill has. As regards the general election, no. No, she is not.

Is Hillary Clinton entitled? She had her own email server while Secretary of State. Government email wasn’t good enough for her. Whether this was done deliberately so that she could conduct secret deals with shady persons is an unanswerable question, but it speaks to just how special a snowflake she thinks she is. Hillary is supposed to get what she wants. When she doesn’t, that means you’re a sexist.

Is Hillary Clinton over-confident? I honestly don’t think so. I think she knows her weakness, hence the determination to silence all talk of them. But in the sense that she feels that This is Her Time, then yeah, maybe.

Is Hillary Clinton secretive? Does a bear defecate in the woods? Is the Pope Catholic? Is Bill Clinton a creep?

Will Hillary Clinton do anything to win? We are talking about the woman who blamed her husband groping an intern on a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, right?

Does Hillary Clinton represent the past? No, the 90’s were just yesterday. Her generation is PEAKING, you guys.

Is Hillary Clinton out of touch? Well let’s see. An upper-middle class white woman who’s spent her entire career as some form of government official or government spouse. Gee, you think?

Anyone else think this effort is going to end up as a footnote example of the Streisand Effect?

Clinton Fatigue Returns: The Martin O’Malley Bubble

In the 229 years of this Republic’s existence, no one has successfully made the 50-mile trek from the Annapolis Governor’s Mansion to the White House. I don’t know how many have even tried. Maryland is too small to be a big state, and too liberal to be a contended state. It would take a peculiar set of circumstances to upend that tradition.

Nevertheless, Martin O’Malley believes he is the man to do it. Never mind that even liberal Maryland convincingly rejected O’Malley’s legacy by rejecting his hand-picked successor in favor a a Republican businessman. Like Obama, O’Malley’s success owes more to a TV-ready personality and a friendly media than actual sucess at governing. If O’Malley can connect with Dem primary voters, his failure as a governor may not matter.

I don’t know how large that “if” is. If Democrats are truly looking to rejuvenate their party with new blood, and are unable to draft Elizabeth Warren, then O’Malley might find himself at least a slot on the podium. But I don’t know the minds of Democrat primary voters, so I can’t tell. I can only say that if O’Malley makes any kind of splash at all, it will be a sign of just how weak a candidate Clinton really is.

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The Species of Kafkatrapping

This will likely go the rounds in the rightosphere, but I would be remiss if I did not pass it along. When a prog accuses you of being racist because you won’t admit how racist you are? Or that your denial of your racism is proof of your racism?That’s a logical fallacy called a kafkatrap:

Having shown how manipulative and psychologically abusive the kafkatrap is, it may seem almost superfluous to observe that it is logically fallacious as well. The particular species of fallacy is sometimes called “panchreston”, an argument from which anything can be deduced because it is not falsifiable. Notably, if the model A kafkatrap is true, the world is divided into two kinds of people: (a) those who admit they are guilty of thoughtcrime, and (b) those who are guilty of thoughtcrime because they will not admit to being guilty of thoughtcrime. No one can ever be innocent.

The Salem Witch Trials (and elsewhere) and the Communist purges of the 1930’s, operated on a similar logic. I would include the medieval Inquisition in that number, except the Inquisition was perfectly willing to acquit people, and may have even acquitted the majority of those who came before it.

Do Read The Whole Thing.

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Blood, Madness, and Charlie Hedbo

Back in 2011, Charlie Hedbo’s offices got firebombed by Islamists. I remember because I posted the offending cover to my old blog. I was “Je Suis Charlie” before it was hashtagged.

This attack was worse in terms of body count, but I haven’t been as attached to the issue. All the usual suspects have said all the usual things. There has been the moment of Twitter solidarity, and the massive pro free-speech rallies worldwide. And the French police have arranged for all of the suspects but one to become dead. Which is all fine. It means there’s life in the old girl yet.

But in my gloom I wonder if our elite, so painstaking in not fanning the flames of anti-muslim rage, are rather going to end up bringing it about. There’s only so many times people can be told “Yes, but understand them,” before losing all desire to understand anything but threats and the removal of same.

This is a religious war. We don’t want it to be, but it is. We don’t want it to be because we lost our taste for religious war in the West some 300 years ago, and have as yet not regained it. But if we had our wants, we wouldn’t be fighting this war at all. Most of us would be entirely content to let the Middle East and Islam buzz off and do as it liked provided it left us out of it. It’s not like we actually care about what’s going on in Yemen.

And because of that, our elites would much rather pretend that this is some failure of cultural understanding, with some regrettable law-enforcement and precision-bombing involved. They don’t want to use the weapons at their disposal, because they are far more interested in making their culture reflect their specific prejudices than in defending it as it is.

And what are these weapons? In a cultural war, attacking the premises of the offending culture, mocking its claims of sacrality, forcing it by moral suasion to accept change.  And it means answering violence with violence.

We aren’t prepared to do that yet. Not fully, not without shame, not without assuring ourselves that we really don’t want to. This is a pride of ours, that we consider very little in this world worth killing for. And it’s better than the alternative. But it will not give our enemies pause.

When we reach the end of the road, and we find ourselves faced with our enemies’ demand “Submit or die,” we may yet find the determination to find the third choice. This will be ugly. It will be messy. It will not assure us of our evolved natures. But it will decide things quite clearly.

Despite what we say, we are not all Charlie. Yet.

On the Cake-Baking Front of the Culture Wars…

Should Christian Bakers have to make cakes for Gay Weddings?

If you think they should, then should Gay Bakers have to bake cakes with messages in support of traditional marriages?

Because Gay Bakers seem to think they don’t.

This raises more questions. Should Jewish Bakers have to make cakes with Swastikas? Should Muslim Bakers have to make rum cakes?

His Imperial Highness Emperor Barack I, the Lightbringer, Has So Ordered

As with Putin, one has to admire the chutzpah.

And expect the Left to argue that this isn’t that big a deal. That the order only applies to those who’ve been here already. That the order only applies to those who meat the “strict conditions” of deportation relief. That deportations have been up. That no one is being granted citizenship.

All of which is true, and none of which matters. The President is here deciding what the law is, and who the law applies to.

He doesn’t get to do that.

He doesn’t get to decide what the law is. He doesn’t get to ignore the divisiveness of the issue and force Congress to act.

He is not the superior of Congress. He is its equal.

Progressives are pretending not to care about this, because Democrat.