Point and Laugh, European Edition

I am a firm believer that some beliefs and/or tactics are not only worthy of scorn and ridicule, but they actually require a healthy dose of mockery as the best way to combat them.  While rational argument and debate are normally the best response, for some things you just have to point and laugh.

For example, while I feel intelligent design is sometimes worthy of legitimate debate, if only for the side benefits it brings to the theory of evolution by having scientists examining the theory from every possible angle for any conceivable flaw, young earth creationism is a viewpoint that deserves the “point and laugh” response.  Debating a young earth creationist who has learned debate tactics at the knee of Duane Gish is pointless.  Each of the 100 or so “fatal flaws” in evolutionary theory that he will point out have already been debunked countless times, it is just that while he can make a claim a minute if not more, explaining the actual science and evidence that deals with the point could take hours.  If you try to counter each point, you will not only run out of time, but you will spend all your time dealing with your opponents assertions, allowing him to set the strategy of the debate.  If you ignore his points, audience members unfamiliar with the tactic may think you are hiding something, or that you can not refute his arguments.  That’s why the Gish Gallop is such a devastating effective debate tactic, and why so many intelligent scientists (especially those with no training in public speaking) get eviscerated in debate with a YoungEarther.  Honestly?  The belief in a 6000 year old Earth deserves nothing but outright mockery.  Same with comments about “legitimate” rape, or the belief that gay marriage somehow destroys existing straight marriages.  The denial of humanity caused climate change is teetering on the edge; some people seriously just don’t know the science and it is worth it to at least try to explain the scientific consensus, while the majority of deniers need some ridicule.

For a nice bit of time, I’ve lumped Fox News into the list of things to point and laugh at.  Sure, it has a frighteningly large audience share, but that audience skews very elderly.  Fox News has a distressing influence on US seniors, and seniors vote in large numbers, but hopefully any serious damage a propaganda station masquerading as a legitimate news channel can do to the electorate is limited to members of one generation.  I’d like to imagine that most people, even most Republicans, realize that what they get from Fox may be entertaining but it isn’t news.  It helps my contention immensely when the network spends a whole day talking about “no-go zones” in Europe where non-Muslims fear to tread, areas the police avoid, ruled over by shadowing Sharia courts, with teenagers wearing Osama bin Laden t-shirts enforcing Islamic dress codes, places like Birmingham in the U.K. and several neighborhoods in Paris.

Le Petit Journal on French television agreed with me that some good old fashioned pointing and laughing was in order.

For all the mockery thrown towards Fox News (including British Prime Minister David Cameron’s classic “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools’ Day,”) some are steadfastly standing up for the existence of “no go zones.”  Seriously, google “no go zone.”  I’ll wait.

As you can see, in addition to the expected Breitbart links (and no thank you, I won’t link to breitbart,) you’ll see that Bobby Jindal apparently did the fear-mongering algebra and decided his only chance with the GOP electorate is to out-Islamophobe the more traditional (read whiter) presidential hopefuls.

Bobby Jindal refused to apologize Wednesday for calling certain areas in Europe “no-go zones” due to influence from fundamentalist Muslims.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” the Louisiana governor, who is eyeing a run for the presidency, reiterated recent comments he’d made in London and to CNN about supposed areas, where “women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils” and “where police are less likely to go in.”

 Something tells me that the 2016 campaign is going to be amazing.

An Apology….

comic5

Je Suis Charlie!

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  • I wish to thank stripcreator for the ability to create these comics.  Rather than fully creating them there and risking them taking the comics down, I instead created them and took a screen shot of each, allowing me to post and host them myself. (Also depicting Muhammed and offending potentially dangerous people is my call, not the owner of stripcreator.com.  Seeing how they had multiple clip art pieces of Jesus but this tie wearing guy was the closest I could come to a Muslim has me thinking the owner would rather not offend Muslims.)
  • I wish to thank Eddie Izzard for the term “Jeezie Creezie” and the idea that Jesus hates the nickname.  If I was an artist, these strips also would have featured the Holy Ghost wearing a bed sheet over his head, and babies being put on spikes, both also gems from Eddie.
  • Not one of these three comics are actually meant to be funny.  They are however meant to be offensive.  I am not anti-Islam.  I am not Islamophobic.  Anyone who believes they know the mind of God and knows that other people are wrong and must be enlightened is a problem.  Too many American Christians seem to forget that Christianity was spread with the sword in the past.   Taking writings from over 1000 years ago and trying to literally apply them to our modern society is a recipe for disaster and bloodshed.  The offices of Charlie Hebdo was attacked because someone’s religious beliefs were offended.  People died because someones invisible sky daddy got his fefes hurt.  An invisible sky daddy who is supposedly omnipotent, who could have stopped each employees heart instantly if he so decided that he wanted them dead. If a cartoon drawn by a non-believer causes you so much rage that you not only want said cartoonist dead, but are willing to take the steps needed to make him or her dead, then you need to visit a mental hospital while you consider exactly how impotent your God is that he needs an insane believer to carry out his wishes.
  • If you have gotten this far, you deserve a reward.  Go listen to some good satire.   Here is The Scathing Atheist’s 100th episode, Je Suis Charlie, and here is Cognitive Dissonance’s 201st, Je Suis Charlie.
  • Yes, I realize I misspelled “Muhammad” every previous time on this page.  It is on purpose, just another little attempt at offense.
  • And finally, while I will again state that none of these comics are actually funny, “knick knack paddy whack, give the prophet a bone” is pretty fucking amusing.

We are All French Satirists this Week

As a site that traffics more in snark than cultured high brow discussion, I am choosing to wait rather than mouth off about an on-going crisis.  (Although from following the news, it appears that the hostages are now free and the terrorists either dead or in custody.)  At the same time, I didn’t feel right just ignoring the situation precisely because I traffic more in snark than cultured high brow discussion.  Satirical social critics who refuse to declare religion “off-limits,” of whom I consider myself an insignificant member, open ourselves up to threats of violence from extremist believers of just about every faith.  (Although I admit a death threat coming from an extremist sect of Jainism would be very unlikely.)  Most of us who are critical of religion in a scathing manner have been recipients of a threat or two, most of which are obviously illegitimate.  Some of us have unfortunately been on the receiving end of serious threats (a group I thankfully do not belong to), and have had to cope with not only the fear from the threat, but all the chaos and inconvenience dealing with the threat brings to their lives.

And for some, it is not a threat, but a horrifying reality.  For some, their satirical criticism of religion has cost them their lives.

It is in their memory that the rest of our little club must carry on, with our cartoons or our articles, our skits and our songs, whatever our method of satire may be, refusing to let any religion silence our voices.

Now I am off to camp a certain persons Twitter account, because I can not wait to see how Reza Aslan absolves Islam of any blame this time.

Selena Gomez Mistakes Abu Dhabi Mosque for Slut Walk

In an act that will surely cause the first declared jihad of the new year, American actress/singer Selena Gomez posed for then posted an extremely racy pic to her Instagram account.  The picture, which I must admit, is barely one step above hardcore pornography, has caused outrage, outrage I tell you, among a certain group of Muslims that really need to find better uses of their time.  In addition to the incredibly disrespectful softcore pornography, a group shot was also taken showing a group of young adults smiling, laughing, and generally having fun, something that is strictly forbidden in houses of worship of all faiths.  That bastion of journalism, The Daily Mail, has cataloged some of the reactions.

Commenting on the picture, Alaa Almitwally said: ‘Disrecpectful! It’s a religion place not a place to have fun in, so disappointed.’

and this understated gem:

‘I like Selena Gomez but to have her do something like this makes me no longer a fan.’

While dating Justin Bieber was once Selena’s greatest crime against humanity,  that was always balanced out by her fine work on Wizards of Waverly Place.   Unfortunately, now that WoWP is off the air and Springbreakers (which is either a stunning social critique or exploitative trash, depending on who you ask) is approaching its second anniversary, Selena’s pop culture footprint is limited to the ear-splitting caterwauling her and her manager call music and whatever movie roles she has landed since I stopped paying attention.*  At this point in her career, taking and releasing this explicit picture must have seemed like a great idea, a cross between the “pay attention to me, I’m rich! Here’s a tape of me having sex” brilliance of Paris Hilton and the “When you look at me, I don’t want you to think ‘Disney,’ I want you to think ‘herpes'” raunchiness of Miley Cyrus.  It would get her name in the headlines and help her move away from the Disney princess image all at once.  The problem in this line of thinking is obvious.  Paris Hilton didn’t film herself performing fellatio and then having intercourse while appearing as if she would rather be getting a root canal in a mosque, be it a tourist trap mosque or just your everyday run of the mill mosque.  Miley never twerked over a copy of the Qur’an, nor did she rub up against an Imam, unless Robin Thicke leads a very interesting private life.

While Selena has since deleted the shocking photo from her Instagram page, once something hits the internet it is forever, assuring that millions of repressed men will be furiously masturbating to the huge amount of exposed Gomez flesh, while a similarly repressed, equally creepy contingent will spend their time plotting jihad against her and her family for this affront to their faith.  While I understand how hurtful and obscene my Muslim readership may find this photo, I feel that I must post the photo so everyone can understand the justifiable outrage directed at her and this photo.    To protect those with innocent virgin eyes, I will put the pic after the jump.  Please, if you are under 18, or if you have a weak stomach or delicate sensibilities, do not click through to the picture.
Continue reading →

Hyperbole Much?

I’m not going to say that Salon assistant editor Joanna Rothkopf jumped any toothy aquatic predators with her post this morning at Salon, Anatomy of a 2014 villain: Bill Maher, but I will suggest that the fish is smacking its gums in anticipation, the water skis are waxed, and the boat is revving up its engine.

Don’t get me wrong here.  I think it is perfectly acceptable for liberals and progressives to disagree on certain issues.  Lasting solutions do not come from a bunch of people nodding along in unison, they come from argument and debate, from conflict, as each side pokes holes in the ideas of the others until something survives the process.  We can even disagree about Islam.  It is an open question how much of the turmoil in many Islamic majority nations can be attributed to religion versus secular issues such as poor economic prospects, a western super power that insists on sticking its nose, violently more often than not, into the nations attempts at self determination, and multiple other issues that would turn this into even more of a run on sentence than it is already.  I personally think anyone who would deny the effects of US intervention and other secular issues and blame Islam as the only problem in the region sound as completely out of touch as Rene Aslan does when he says, “Islam doesn’t promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion, and like every religion in the world, it depends on what you bring to it. If you’re a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism, is going to be violent.”

I’m not going to turn this post into an argument indicting Islam or any other religion.  You know my feelings on the issue by now; Islam is not the problem, religion is the problem.  As much as you want to argue against it, the fundamentalists of any religion are closer to the original doctrine than the majority of moderate believers who have sacrificed a myriad of beliefs in order to live in our 21st century societies.  Only time will tell if the current resurgence of fundamentalism is just its final death throes or the beginning of a revolution returning the world to a more original faith.  You can question their true intentions all that you want, you can assume they were already violent individuals if it makes you sleep better at night, but you can not deny that whether the act is the bombing of an abortion clinic, the execution of a doctor at a church service, the peppering of a girl with bullets as she rides a bus, the taking of sex slaves, or the decapitation of western journalists, religion is held up as the justification.  FGM, the denial of education for women, the denial of driving rights to women, the punishment of rape victims, and the practice of honor killing all lack secular justification, and still exist because of religion.

As we end a year that included horrific school shootings, an apparent open season on young black males for those carrying a badge, a crisis in Russia that is ignored by the vast majority of Americans, the continuation of the War against Women, a political party using a disease that shut down multiple African nations as a scare tactic to gain political capital, a midterm election where a small percentage of the electorate voted a party into power that is against all the issues that same electorate supports in public opinion polls, a “news” channel that continues to straight up lie to their viewers with no consequences, and the actions of ISIS, terrorizing the citizens of territory they take control of , killing Westerners publicly, and luring the United States into yet another air campaign sure to lead to unforeseen consequence, just to name a small smattering of the non-good news of the year, Joanna Rothkopf pens a piece calling a comedian a “villian” for having a view on Islam that dares to place some of the blame for the atrocities committed in the name of Allah at the feet of the religion.

I fell for another shameless Salon clickbait article.  Sadly, it seems that the majority of posts there nowadays are of the clickbait variety.  I once loved my visits to Salon.  Now, someone will have to let me know if Joanna follows through in her attempt to leap a large relative of the stingray.  I’ll find someplace else for my progressive viewpoints.

Belated Gift Idea….

Buy Rachael Lark’s Christmas Album.

Enjoy family time.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Terrific Thursday!

 

Remember, There is No “War on Women”

I give you Missouri state rep Rick Brattin (Guess what party)  proposing a bill with the following language:

“No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.”

Cause women?  Fuck ‘em.  Amirite?

There is an exception for rape, which I guess is nice.  I mean, sure, the law lets an ex-boyfriend force a woman to carry a child to term out of spite if he so desires, but at least it doesn’t give rapists the same power.  Let’s see what Rep. Brattin has to say about the exception, keeping in mind that no Republican would ever use the term “legitimate rape” again after Todd Akin.

“Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it,” Brattin tells Mother Jones. “So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”

Seriously?  How fucking stupid does a politician have to be to place the word “rape” following the word “legitimate” in any sentence that is not “Don’t worry team, I’m not stupid enough to say ‘legitimate rape.'”

I love it when people who have no chance of ever dealing with an unwanted pregnancy feel qualified to place restrictions on a woman’s right to control her own body.  It is even better when the restriction in question is obtaining the consent of another individual who has no chance of ever becoming pregnant.

I’m not saying that having a uterus should be a requirement for an individual to regulate or restrict abortion, but….

Okay, maybe I am saying that.

I’m definitely saying that I have no right to say what a woman should do with her own reproductive system, no matter what my personal thoughts on abortion happen to be.

 

Notes from the Front

I write these words from the trenches, not knowing if I will live to see the sun set this evening.  If fate smiles upon me, the evening meal will bring me no joy;  the MREs are not designed to taste good, only to provide sufficient nourishment.  After dinner, the hard work of the night begins:  reinstalling the layers of barbed wire, rescuing the wounded, burying our dead.  If luck is with us the enemy will be too busy with their own tasks to threaten us with blind fire.  Then a night of fitful sleep, only to see it start again in the morning.

Why did we start this war?  Was saying “Merry Christmas” really that bad?  Did we not realize that saying “Happy Holidays” would provoke a response?  Rumor has it that General O’Reilly is advocating a nuclear solution.  I know Chairman Silverman never imagined it would come to this.  When we started up the Christian Death Camps we thought they would just roll over, just as they did when the last Christian was voted out of Congress.  I mean, hell, the last 10 presidents have all been atheists.  Christianity was done.

How wrong we were.  Thanks to the Fox News Channel, the minority of Americans who consider themselves Christians knew what we were doing when we started to say “Happy Holidays.”  Now we are on the edge of defeat.  If things keep up like this, we may have to reveal our secret alliance with fundamentalist Islam before Obama declares himself President for life and suspends all future elections.  And that would require moving the gun confiscation up almost a year in our timeline, which could result in major chaos.  Dammit, we need to have the six months of race riots before we ban all firearms.

Oh well.  Fox News and the Tea Party may think they are winning this round, but even though I may die going over the top today, our side, the Jewish-Islam-Nazi-Atheist-Fascist-Communist Alliance will prevail in the end.

Darwin and Allah bless you.

Christian Talk Radio is where to find all that Christian Love, Right?

From Raw Story:

In a Friday appearance on the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio show, show host Craig James claimed to not have an opinion on the topic of whether or not LGBT people who file discrimination suits should get the death penalty.

Right Wing Watch reported on Monday that James said, “I don’t know about the executions” when a caller suggested that litigious gays be put to death.

He then went on to say that Christians need to be “bold and firm” in their efforts to prevent LGBT people from realizing their full rights as Americans.

Okay.  Surprisingly, my first step here is to kind of defend Craig James on one point.  While we would have all liked a more forceful rejection of the “execution solution,’ his use of “I don’t know about the executions” was clearly an example of the technique hosts use when they want to skip past a callers more extreme views without offending them.  So I’m not joining Raw Story in suggesting that Craig James is actually undecided on the issue of executions.

But by skipping over the more extreme viewpoint to get to the point of agreement, Craig James, and other hosts who employee this tactic, are silently condoning and endorsing these extreme beliefs in their attempts to not offend the radicals and keep them listening and donating.  Craig James has some pretty outdated views on homosexuality and equality, that is unquestionable.  If you got him alone and completely off the record perhaps he would advocate the execution of homosexuals.  Who knows?  Publicly at least he is not that extreme in his views.  But this is a textbook example of how the so called moderates provide cover for the radical fringe, something that seems to be beyond the comprehension of a large group of people.

This is not just an issue when it comes to gay rights either.  When religious moderates attempt to move faith based beliefs into a special, “untouchable” category, out of bounds and off limits to rational discourse and probing questioning, they shield the fundamentalists and beliefs they may personally find abhorrent at the same time.  The majority of anti-abortion protesters may not support the killing of the doctors and other employees of abortion clinics, but their rhetorical flourishes comparing abortion to the Holocaust and/or first degree murder serves to logically justify the killing of providers.  Just as when Craig James skips past the execution part with a quick wave of the hand he reinforces to the caller that even if he, the host, wouldn’t go quite that far, execution is still a rational option on the table.

The proper response to someone who feels execution is a justifiable sentence for homosexuals who attempt to litigate for their rights is to point and shame.  No matter what your position is on the issue of rights for homosexuals, our culture has moved past stoning people for “crimes against morality.”  What should Craig James have said?  How about “Whoa.  Hold on there.  While I agree that we need to fight back against this in the courts, remember that one of the Ten Commandments is ‘Thou Shall Not Kill.’  I know that you are frustrated, I am as well.  It seems like the court system keeps handing us defeat after defeat.  But never forget that we are Christians.  While we may hate the sin of homosexuality, and strive to fight against the corruption of our culture led by Satan, we have to remember that Jesus forgives all the sinners who repent.  Our job is to try to make the gay mafia see the truth and the way, to experience the total love of our savior and turn to him and ask for forgiveness.  Remember Philip, God has a plan.  If we step in and take the power of life and death for ourselves, and start passing judgement ourselves, perhaps we would kill the future Paul of the homosexual movement.  I know it is hard to watch the way our culture is rotting away, but when it gets unbearable remember this:  Eternity is ours.  This life is but a blip on the timeline of existence, and if they stay in their sin, they will get what is coming to them when they step before the almighty judge.”

How was that?  I tried to keep enough hate involved to make it realistic.  Of course it will never happen, because talk radio hosts know who listens; the fringe.  They can’t afford to alienate the radicals who make up their audience, so instead of something like my above reaction, we get “Well, I don’t know about punishing women who engage in premarital sex by ripping their clitoris out with red hot pincers, but I agree that we have to strongly fight against the new sexual permissiveness.”

To finish out the story, here is what our friendly caller said:

“I want to say something very horrific, a solution, and I think it’s the right solution,” said Phillip. “We pray for the homosexuals, we’ve prayed for our enemies but at the same time when they try to force us to go against God, I think that’s where they cross the line and we should pass laws to execute them when they have judges to go against our businesses.”

To which I feel any sane person has to put their foot down and say “whoa.”  Instead, here is what James said in response:

“Thank you Phillip,” said James on the air. “You know what, that part there, I don’t know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger.”

Most people only know what the media tells them, which means the vast majority of American’s have no idea the kind of powder keg this nation has become.  There are some on the right who are playing a very dangerous game with the extremist fringe.  You can’t keep telling a group that they are being oppressed, that the government is coming to take their guns away, that homosexuals are taking away their rights, that blacks are a dangerous thug race, that immigrants are taking their tax dollars and jobs, that all Muslims are terrorists, and that Christians are being persecuted for their faith and then act surprised when that group strikes back.

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