Will Someone Please Take Bobby Jindal’s Shovel Away From Him?

Seriously, when digging your own grave, you don’t need to keep going after six feet.

Maybe he’s trying to go 27 feet deep?  Why 27 feet?

Cause that is the level of his current approval rating in Louisiana.

Twenty-seven percent. That’s Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating in Louisiana, according to a poll released last week by Mississippi-based Triumph Campaigns. That’s lower than former Gov. Kathleen Blanco when she left office and lower than President Barack Obama today.

That level of disapproval requires bipartisan dissatisfaction. State Rep. Jay Morris of Monroe last week called Jindal’s proposed budget fix “insane.” Baton Rouge conservative writer and activist Scott McKay added, with characteristic bluntness, “The mess Jindal has made of Louisiana’s budget is going to destroy his political career.”

One person, however, who wholeheartedly approves of Jindal’s job performance is Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The only person who thinks things are going swimmingly in Louisiana is Jindal himself. The governor’s latest national op-ed piece (for USA Today) was a howler: “Gov. Jindal: Our economy’s better than ever,” read the headline. In his delusional auto-hagiography, Jindal bragged that he has balanced Louisiana’s budget; in truth he has not — even though our state constitution requires a balanced budget. He also touted credit upgrades, ignoring the fact that Moody’s Investors Service criticized Jindal for running a “structural deficit” and issued a “credit negative” outlook for Louisiana last month. Amid all his self-praise, Jindal never mentioned the $1.6 billion deficit that hangs like the sword of Damocles over the state’s higher education and public health systems — or that fact that he inherited (and then blew through) a $1.1 billion surplus from his predecessor.

Ah, delusions.  But why am I coming back to the blog to slap around a lame duck Governor when I could be writing about more important things, such as the Game of Thrones rape scene that conclusively proves the showrunners are lazy storytellers who do not learn from past mistakes?

Because Gov. Jindal is more than just a lame duck Governor, and his words and actions are not intended to benefit or address the fine citizens of Louisiana.  No, Bobby Jindal is, with all apologies to my friends at Mock, Paper, Scissors, a member of the 2016 Goat Rodeo, the 22 21 20 19 member strong reality show dedicated to choosing the Republican nominee for the next presidential election, and his words and actions are directed at the lunatics base of the GOP, those who vote in the primaries.  Once this counterfeit version of Survivor ends with a candidate, the next step of the process will take place; watching the GOP nominee frantically attempt to erase everything he, and it will be a he because Carly Fiorina isn’t going to get the nomination, said during the primary season in order to appeal to the moderate voters who will decide the general election.  (As an aside, and I may write about this more in depth, but how many more cycles can the GOP survive as a unified party?  And perhaps more interestingly, will the social conservatives or the moderate Republicans be the group that breaks away?)

Gov. Jindal’s strategy seems to leave no room to backtrack to the middle, staking out positions so extreme that he may actually be unelectable in a national election if he somehow wins the primary.  His latest move, designed to appeal to the most conservatively religious section of the GOP base, is to almost literally strap Louisiana’s economy to the altar and rip its still beating heart from its chest, sacrificing the state to his own political ambitions.

Glad you elected him yet, Louisiana?

You see, Bobby Jindal had a dream.  He watched Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sign that state’s discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and he salivated.  He watched the national business community freak the fuck out over the bill and he suddenly had to change his pants.  Not only did the bill make homophobic Christians happy, but the backlash from the business community played right into the current Christian persecution myth that is so popular on the far right these days.  The only problem for Gov. Jindal is that Gov. Pence beat him to it, a problem that disappeared when Indiana bowed to common sense and removed the “go ahead and discriminate against homosexuals as long as you sincerely hate gay people because of God” part of their RFRA bill.  Gov. Jindal could find himself as the only protector of Christianity in the GOP, all he needed was for Louisiana’s conservative legislature to send it to his desk to sign.  What could go wrong?

On Tuesday, to the dismay of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Louisiana’s proposed Marriage and Conscience Act failed in the state’s house. The legislation, which has been compared to “religious freedom restoration acts” (RFRA) in Arkansas and Indiana, would have prohibited “the state from taking any adverse action against a person on the basis that such person acted in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about marriage.” Thus, a pizza shop that said it would not cater a gay wedding — as happened in Indiana — might not be penalized.

How strange.  Apparently, not every member of the Louisiana House shared Gov. Jindal’s lame duck status.  No, the state legislators understand that they need to do things for the good of their state, and after seeing the shitshow that exploded in Indiana over RFRA, they smartly decided they would rather have the chance to get Super Bowls and factories rather than be a footnote on the wrong side of history.  What would Gov. Jindal, pen in hand, do now?

But after the bill failed, Jindal stepped into the breach.

“We are disappointed by the committee’s action to return the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act to the calendar,” Jindal said in a statement, as the Times-Picayune reported. “We will be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will … prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Ah yes.  Executive order.  From Gov. Bobby Jindal.  This guy:

“Granting amnesty by executive order is wrong,” Jindal wrote in a statement last year. “It will incentivize more of this illegal immigration. If the President wants to make the case that the law should be changed, he should go make the case to Congress and our people.

Funny how executive orders are fine when they do something you agree with, isn’t it? #hypocrite?  But maybe I’m over-reacting.  Maybe Gov. Jindal has crafted this act to protect everyone’s rights in some way?

“This bill is worse than any RFRA in that it explicitly allows discrimination based on an individual’s religious beliefs about marriage,” Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow said of the bill last month. “Nobody gets to go into court for a balancing test, there’s no interpretation by a state judicial system. It flat out gives individuals a right to discriminate, period.”

Okay. Maybe this action won’t hurt Louisiana’s economy?

New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau chief executive Stephen Perry called the bill “a radioactive, poisonous message,” saying it could cost the state $65 million per year.”

Well, maybe Gov. Jindal will see the error of his ways when he sees the backlash his state faces from the business community?  I mean, 65 million a year is not an insignificant amount.

But Jindal, in New York Times op-ed last month, said money doesn’t matter.

“As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath,” he wrote.

“Save your breath.”  Tough words, aren’t they?  Easy to talk tough when you aren’t the one who has to face the consequences.  Remember, Jindal is a lame duck Governor.  He is making this stand that could cripple Louisiana’s economy with no skin in the game himself.  He will issue the order and bask in the adoration of the far religious right while Louisiana’s citizens and economy suffer.  He can publicize any criticism of him to the base and play right into the Christian persecution myth, while the people who the order hurts don’t even get the satisfaction of voting his ass out of office.  Before I finish this post off with the Democratic response in Louisiana, I have to quote this beautifully understated line from the Washington Post article I’ve been quoting:

Meanwhile, Jindal — who launched a presidential exploratory committee this week — has been criticized for pandering to conservatives in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Well I never!  Gov. Jindal?  Pandering to conservative?  Pah!  I’m sure the Governor just honestly feels this is the best course of action for Louisiana…… or that this order is just following his own sincerely held religious beliefs…. or maybe he’s just pandering to the most extreme segment of his party cause he knows his only chance to win the nomination is to out-crazy Santorum.  Anyway, here is the promised Democratic response, along with one more link to the WashPo article I’ve been quoting.

“Gov. Jindal’s stunt today once again underlines his disregard for Louisiana families, his disdain for the state legislature and his apparent contempt for the state’s tourism industry — the only segment of our economy his failed policies haven’t crippled,” the Louisiana Democratic Party’s executive director Stephen Handwerk said in a statement. “Louisiana taxpayers and businesses are once again being forced to foot the bill for Jindal’s vanity. It’s foolishness our families cannot afford.”

Oh Mr. Handwerk, why do you hate Jesus?

 

Indian Gov. Mike Pence Makes Major Announcement.

The controversy over Indiana’s newly signed-into-law Religious Freedom Restoration Act took an unexpected turn yesterday as Governor Mike Pence, widely perceived to have been backing away from the law as the howls of protest grew louder and louder, doubled down in his support of the act.

“I find it very sad how many Indiana business leaders proved themselves nothing but Republicans in name only recently, as they joined forces with the radical Gay agenda to launch an economic war against the great state of Indiana,” Governor Pence began after a tension raising 147 second pause between his taking of the microphone and his first words.  After this admission of opposition however, the Governor was on the offense for the rest of the speech.  “The public outcry and the business opposition is countered by the support of every Republican Presidential candidate, as well as the support of the Republican party itself.  Yes, sometimes the people tell the party that it is wrong and needs to change, but this is a case where the party is right, and the people need to realize they are not being good Republicans if they do not support this act.”

After seemingly giving Republican identifying voters their marching orders, the Governor welcomed  three men and a woman to the stage that no one in the crowd seemed to recognize.  They were introduced as Adam Selfman, the new CEO of Salesforce,  Joseph Fregalman, the new CEO of Yelp,  Rogers B. Wigsley III, the new president of the NCAA, and Mrs. John Serimyer, new CEO of Angie’s List.  Mr. Selfman read a prepared statement that claimed to speak for the four businesses represented on stage.  The letter apologized to Indiana for any financial hardships caused by the actions of their previous CEO’s, and read in part:

“Furthermore,  in order to compensate the great state of Indiana for any damages our predecessors may have caused, the NCAA has pledged to grant the Final Four and the College Football National Championship game to Indianapolis in perpetuity, while the remaining three pledge a full 10% of our profits to the Re-elect Mike Pence PAC.  Our previous CEO’s must have been either possessed by Satan, or secret agents of the Homosexual Elite in order to oppose such an upstanding Christian Act.  We further pledge to follow Governor Mike Pence in all orders or suggestions.”

At this point the Governor took back the microphone and opened the floor to questions.  The first question was a reporter from the Indianapolis Star-Ledger, who asked the Gov. what happened to the previous leaders of the represented businesses.  Gov. Pence did not hesitate when he answered, “they’re dead,” although quite a few reporters in the crowd took it as an early April Fool’s day joke.  Gov. Pence was quick to squash that notion.

“The asked about Republicans in name only, or RINO’s, where taken care of by a crew of GOP security officers between 0300 and 0500 hours this morning.  We were hoping to hold off until seeing the results in 2016, but it seems that this Act brought so many traitors to the surface that we had no choice but to act.  While this press conference is taking place, groups of GOP S.O’s are arresting all known homosexuals in the Hoosier state for incarceration.  The current plan is to relocate these deviants to San Francisco, although we are not ruling out more Biblical solutions.  While the raids taking place today are only targeting sodomites, we reserve the right to eject other religious undesirables from our state.  After all, there are a lot of us Christians who aren’t too fond of sharing the streets with Christ-killers and race-mixers.”

When asked if he really expected the rest of the nation, and the federal government to allow Indiana to basically turn into a Nazi state, Gov. Pence had an answer at the ready.

“Seriously, you are going to go all Godwin on us?  Ha.  But seriously, what is the federal government going to do?  The GOP controls Congress and the GOP Representatives will  be too afraid of getting primaried to do anything.  Then because of Godwin’s Law, any member of the press that compares us to the Nazi party will be laughed out of town.  Think about it.  We’ve built such a “equal weight and time to both sides” political climate that Fox News will be praising us and anything MSNBC and the rest of the media says will be chalked up to “that left wing liberal media.”

The Governor then unveiled Indiana’s new state flag:indianastateflagGovernor Pence ended the press conference by saluting the Indiana state flag, and then left the building, getting inside a replica of the General Lee that was parked outside, and sped off as the sounds of “Sweet Home Alabama” blared from his speakers.

 

 

Dear Fellow Liberals and Progressives

Re:Trevor Noah.

Get the fuck over yourselves, okay?

Seriously.

“Decapitate her head off…”: Where that good ole Christian love crosses into the “Wait, What?!?” zone.

This post originally had a long introduction about the show Duck Dynasty.  I’ll include part of it at the end because I wrote it and it is somewhat amusing, but I decided the show doesn’t really need an introduction at this point, so why make you read 5 long paragraphs to get to the story?  This introduction explaining that fact was originally much longer as well, until I decided that I didn’t really need to justify my removal of the original introduction with a 4 paragraph long explanation.  I ended up editing 2 additional paragraphs out of this shortened introduction/justification/explanation because I kept going into details that had nothing to do with either the introduction, the reasoning for shortening the introduction, or the story itself.  Finally, immediately before I hit the “Publish” button, I deleted 7 lines I deemed superfluous.


As I assume you are aware, Duck Dynasty is a thing.  (From the channel that also brings you Donnie Loves child-killers/airheads /nose-pickers/mothers of Indigo children/Graduates of Google U./brain-swelling/subjecting children to unnecessary  suffering/Jenny)  Those of you who follow the insanity of the far right more than likely also know that show member Phil Robertson was suspended from the show a while back for comments he made in an interview that could possibly be interpreted as both racist and homophobic.   The Christian far right collectively lost its shit over the suspension, making it into exhibit A in their ongoing attempt to convince someone (anyone) that Christians, who make up around 77% of the United States population, are actually a persecuted minority seconds away from the FEMA sponsored gas chambers.  This suspension, along with the Christian right’s massive persecution complex and their preschool level understanding of the First Amendment has resulted in Phil Robertson becoming a star on the far right lecture circuit.  On March 20th, 2015, that stardom found Phil speaking at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, resulting in, resulting in, resulting in…… Shit.  I don’t even know how to explain this properly.  Here’s the link to RightWingWatch for ya.

It starts off as a normal sounding home invasion.

“Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him.”

Questions immediately spring to mind.  How old are these “little atheist daughters?”  Cause if they are under, say, 10, then can you really call them “atheists?”  I mean, sure they probably believe what their parents do, but not because of any deep examination of the issue.  They’re kids, they probably believe anything their parents tell them.  And if they are teenagers, then one of them is probably a Catholic and the other a Buddhist because they are teenagers.  Seriously, what teenager agrees with their parents?  Teenage rebellion, anyone?  “Screw you dad, Jesus loves me, you’re going to Hell, and Father Myers only fucks little boys, so I’m safe.”  Moving past they “perfect indoctrination” problem…..

“And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them”

Remember, this story is at a prayer breakfast.  Just something to keep in mind.  Now for as well thought out as this story is, (which really makes me wonder about Mr. Robertson.) there are some holes starting to show up.  Like, they said that they tied the atheist guy to the chair and gagged him, but what is his little atheist wife doing while they are raping and murdering his little atheist daughters?  Did they tie her up as well and just forget to mention it?  Is she just enjoying the show cause she’s an atheist?

“and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him.”

Department of Redundant Redundancies section redundant sector department, paging Mr. Phil Robertson.  I would be much more critical of this part of the story, but he said “decapitate her head off” which is so fucking idiotic that I can’t help laughing every time I read or hear the phrase.

So, his daughters are raped and murdered, the wife has had her head decapitated right off, and the guy has been forced to witness each action.  Something tells me Phil is getting ready to make his point.

And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’”

That’s his point?  Seriously?

Dude, you inbred, brain dead, bigoted waste of beard hair and skin cells, lack of belief in a supreme law giver of the Universe doesn’t mean atheists reject all laws and morality without thought.  You do have to worry about being judged, just not by a creator God.  You will be judged by your peers, by society, by law enforcement, by the judicial system, and by the inmates at your future home who are going to shank the fuck out of you for killing and raping children.  There most certainly is something wrong with invading someone’s home, then torturing, raping, and murdering a family.  There are multiple logical ways to conclude that those actions are wrong without resorting to the commands of an invisible sky daddy.  I have more to say on this, but I don’t want to ejaculate prematurely, so let’s take this slow for a minute.  Besides, I think Phil just realized one or two audience members are still eating.

“Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him”

Did you catch that? The switch from “they do this, they do that,” to “you take a sharp knife.”  Is this Phil Robertson’s ultimate sexual fantasy?  It certainly seems like he’s spent some serious time thinking it up.  Anyway, I wonder if they served sausage links at this breakfast?

and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’”

Once again, not believing in a God has nothing to do with wholesale rejecting morality as well.  Everything these two home invaders (we’ll call them Phil and Robertson for fun.) do is morally reprehensible on multiple levels.  For society to function there needs to be an agreed upon set of moral codes.  Anyone that feels only the word of God, along with the threat of hellfire and God’s ever watchful eye, is the only reason people behave morally, the only reason people don’t rape and murder indiscriminately, scare the living fuck out of me.

Seriously.  I don’t rape women. Rape is morally wrong.  It is a violation of another person’s bodily autonomy, which I, as a primate, can understand through a lack of consent on the victims part, then by placing myself in the same situation with the same lack of consent, use empathy to conclude that the action is morally repugnant without resorting to any authority figure ordering me not to do the act.

Someone who only refrains from committing a morally repugnant act, say murder, or rape, because some God told them not to do the act is a ticking fucking time bomb.  What if there is conclusive proof tomorrow that God does not exist, or we find the dead body of God on the surface of Titan.  Do these people, constrained only by their belief in their deities laws, suddenly turn Alabama and Mississippi into Rapeville, USA?  Do these people have to remind themselves not to rape and kill every day?  “Oh shit, that girl is hawt.  And all alone on this country road.  I bet I could rape her, decapitate her head off, and hide her in the forest and no one would ever know  I did it.  It would be so…Wait a second.  God would know.  Fuck.  Damn all seeing sky daddy.”

A confession.  I have never had to stop myself from raping someone.  Not once.  I have never found myself planning a rape, only to talk myself out of it at the last minute because of the consequences or any other reason.

Because rape is fucking wrong, and I rarely find myself thinking about performing acts that harm other people.  What kind of a person only acts morally because of God?  What kind of a person only acts morally because of earthly authority figures?  (Note: I am saying morally, not legally.  There are actions that are legally wrong that are not morally wrong, and there are many people who only act legally because of authority figures and the threat of punishment.  For example, drug use.  I have yet to come across an argument I buy that claims I am committing a moral wrong by using any drug.  <Note2: Not using then driving.  Not using then working.  Not using then babysitting.  Just using a drug, then sitting down to a book or tv.>)

Don’t just read this page.  Go to the link and listen to Phil Robertson say this shit himself.  If you want, download the current episode of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast, which includes the speech and commentary on it as well.  People are clapping and laughing as he begins, but all you hear is silence by the end.  I think his well thought out rape, torture, and murder fantasy went a bit too far even for his intended audience.

At least I hope it did, because if this passes for mainstream Christian commentary, we’re in a lot more trouble than I ever imagined.


And here’s a bit of what I cut out, as promised:

So there’s this “reality” television show on the A&E channel that a depressing and disturbing number of people tune in to watch each week, which is either a stunning indictment of the taste of U.S. television viewers, or a sad indication that no matter how many countless channels cable or satellite provide, there really is nothing worth watching on tv.  The show is titled “Duck Dynasty,” and unfortunately it is not the saga of several families of British ducks (the noble House Mallard, of which King Donald belongs, the cunning House Widgeon, which gave birth to Queen Daisy, House Gadwall, House Pintail, and House Shoveler, of which the brothers Lord Huey, Lord Dewey and Lord Louie control respectively through advantageous marriages, the mysterious Ring-Necks, sworn to protect the realm and remain neutral in political disputes, the dangerous Green-Winged Teals, a group of religious fanatics who tattoo their wings green upon joining the order,  the majority of the population, the Common Mergansers, whos lack of power and wealth make them but pawns to the other houses, and the hidden, possibly supernatural group of ducks known only as Rubber.) as we follow their lives as they scheme, rape, intrigue, rape, pillage, rape, plunder, rape, swim, rape, murder, rape, back stab, and rape their way to the top of medieval duck society and the seat of total power, The Corkscrew Throne.  (Some people may wonder why rape is every other action performed by these ducks in my show pitch.  To those people I simply say this: look up the sex lives of ducks.  Male ducks would fit in perfectly in frat houses all over America.)

So….Fun Morning.

The roads were horrid this morning, especially the roads along my delivery route (I have a newspaper delivery route for side income) that travels up the mountain to the local ski lodge.  It honestly appeared as if the plow trucks had done nothing, which most certainly wasn’t true since I kept passing them on my route.  It seems that it was just snowing too fast for the trucks to keep up with, and the temperature range during the storm was apparently perfect for the creation of dangerous roads.  Needless to say, I was overjoyed once I slid my last paper into its tube a mere 4 hours late.  Yes, my normal 2 hour route took me close to 6 this morning, as for all the snow my area has received this year, today saw the worst driving conditions.

Anyway, I called the newspaper quickly to report the 10 papers (a record this winter) that were undeliverable due to road conditions, and started to head home.  Because of the snow and the simple fact that it is a winding road leading up to the highest local elevation, I was making the drive at 20 mph (in a 35 mph zone) with my flashers on because I was going so far under the limit.

Turns out 20 mph was probably too fast for conditions this morning.    Rather than describing it, here is a visual aid:

Untitled

Yeah.  I ended up taking out a newspaper box (like a mail box only for…) right before I hit the embankment.  The paper box left the only mark on my car, a small dent in front of the driver’s side door.  This was literally the only spot on the road where I could hit an embankment instead of ending up in a ditch, or even worse, flipping the car down a hill.  If a car would have been coming the other way, it would have been a bit messy as well.

After catching my breath, checking for damages, and leaving a “I will bring and install a new paper box in the morning” note on the destroyed box, I started to make a three point turn to continue on my way (since a 540 spin finishes with me facing the way I came…).  While I was turning, a Sel-lo heating oil truck, driven apparently by a crack smoking junkie who just sold enough oil under the table to afford a fix, blew past me, very nearly into the side of my car, going close to 50 if not a higher mph.

If I was a believer, I am sure you could guess the direction this post would take:

“It was a miracle!  Forget the starving children, the victims of sexual or physical abuse, the innocents caught in the way of violence, and the large number of people who die in auto accidents each and every day, God saved me, not them!  I’m so special.  God’s chosen.  Suck it, dead people.  Guess God didn’t love you enough to save your life.”

Of course, I’m not a believer, so rather than praising an invisible sky daddy for choosing to save me instead of the countless other possible accident victims today, I took a closer examination of what I am doing with this, my only life.  One thing I think is impossible for believers to understand about atheism from the outside is the immense value the worldview places on life.  We have no reincarnation to act as a reset button, nor an afterlife for us to continue on throughout existence.  This is it, however many years we get on this planet before our body stops working.  Some of us do not even get a day, if an hour, and others live past 110; no matter how you look at it, fair it isn’t.  But no matter how fair or unfair it may be, it is still all that we get.

I can see how someone from the outside could look at this worldview and shiver.  Belief in an afterlife didn’t spring out of nowhere, I can definitely see why many find the belief comforting.  But without an afterlife, each and every minute we are alive gains infinite value.  It is far too easy to forget this fact, to fall into a pattern of watching the days go by as we sleepwalk through our daily routine.  I know that I had fallen into that trap.

My car has a dent from my journey spinning through the snow today.  My car has a dent, and hopefully I have a rekindled appreciation for each and every day I continue to draw breath.

As I said, fun morning.

Have you ever seen a dancing, singing, cartoon labia? Now you have. You are welcome.

Don’t get any ideas, I am still on hiatus.  But I was posting this video to Facebook and my comment got a bit long, so I moved it over here.  First, the video:  (Watch it, it is so worth it.)  From a Swedish children’s program, aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. You don’t need to understand the language to get the message.

 

 

Of course, this could never air in the United States, since by the age of three American children know that the bits under their underwear are naughty, sinful, nasty things that definitely do not sing and dance to catchy tunes, unless that is Satan’s current plan to get kids to look at or touch said bits. By six years of age, US kids should understand that those bits are only to be used by married people, and even then only for procreation, in one position, with neither participant receiving any joy or pleasure from the nasty, dirty, sinful, evil, horrific, monstrous, bad, naughty act.

Of course, they will soon become teenagers and ignore those teachings, deciding instead to imitate what bunny rabbits do when they think no one is watching their cute little floppy ears. But never fear, thanks to abstinence only education, American teens won’t know what they are doing or how to use contraceptives, so not only will it be a sub par experience, but there is a good chance they will be punished for their sin with a baby. (Silly me. I meant to say that it would be a sub par experience for the girl, and she would be punished with a baby. Because the boy doesn’t need to know what he is doing to enjoy the act, and its not like he can get pregnant.) And isn’t that preferable to the Swedish method where kids are given knowledge?

In case you were wondering for some reason, let’s compare the two nations approaches to sex ed, shall we?

Round 1:  % of women who reported giving birth before the age of 20.

You know the United States is going to kick some Swedish ass on this one.  We have abstinence only education and they have…..hell, they probably have sex parties instead of gym class.  Anyway, survey says.…..

  • United States: 22%
  • Sweden: 4%

Wait…..that can’t be right.  I know, Swedish taxes are so high that sperm can’t afford to fertilize the eggs.  That has to be it.  I’m sure we’ll get the next question.

Round 2:  % of women who reported no contraceptive use at  recent intercourse.

Dude, we got this on lock down.  We have abstinence only education in the states, our teens don’t know what contraceptives are, and if they do we’ve taught them that they don’t work, so why bother using them, am I right?  Survey says……

  • United States: 20%
  • Sweden: 7%

Booo-ya!  I told you we would destroy those socialist skiers.  Handed them their asses by 13 percentage poi..What’s that?  We want people to use contraceptives?  So the lower number is better?  Are you sure about that?  That doesn’t sound…You are sure.  Positive?  Positive.  Okay……

Alright, it seems that Sweden wiped the floor with us again.  But so what?  That’s Sweden.  They kick everyone’s ass at everything, as long as tanks aren’t involved.  We probably destroy other nations.  Like the “pregnant before 20″ question.  Sweden is probably an outlier.  Let’s look at the numbers of a few other places:

  • Great Britain: 15%
  • Canada: 11%
  • France: 6%

Oh, what the flying fuck.  Ya know what?  Teenage pregnancy is a good thing, there, we fucking win. 

What about the other question?  I bet the Brits refuse to use condoms, just like us Merikkkans.

  • France: 12%
  • Great Britain: 4%

Ummm.

Look!  Obama’s trying to take your guns!

 

Those who miss my writing and want to see what I am up to while this blog is on hiatus are welcome to come to my Tumblr, With a Trebuchet, to read me writing about A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO show, Game of Thrones.  If you do stop by, please leave the politics and social issues here.  Thanks, and I will be back once I unburn myself out.  I won’t give a time frame other than this: I will definitely be back to cover the presidential election campaigns.  So even if this turns into a long break, I will be back before the first primary vote is cast.

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….

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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.

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