left biblioblography: December 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 - A Good Year To Be Secular

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

As the hours and days and months all draw to a close, a winding down of events and lives, 2015 was a very good year to be secular.

Religion is more and more going into decline, and the landslide decision of Obegefell vs. Hodges made gay marriage constitutional in every state of the land (though how they pulled it off without scumbags like Scalia, Roberts, and Thomas interfering, I could not guess).

And for the wistful, sentimental thought:

As an atheist, I would not force my views onto others, anymore than I would appreciate that being done to me. My issue is not with crutches for the weak of heart and mind: it gets you through the bad nights, who am I to piss upon it? No, rather my problems is with the religious who would force their beliefs on myself and others. Gay marriage is a one instance; in the ancient world, gay marriage was not only practiced, but most folks couldn’t give a fuck if it didn’t inconvenience their days or their lives. Once the Christians took over, they stopped it right fast, even tried to stomp it out of existence (homosexuality). Also as point of fact, the Catholic Spaniards were horrified at the ‘abomination’ being practiced in Central America, that they proceeded to slaughter and torture countless innocent victims.

No, much as I’d like to see religion vanish/disappear, the fact is that nobody should play the thought police, or the ‘morals squad’.

And that should apply in all things. I want a country where the rich and the poor are treated equally, not based on pay scale. I want a country where everyone is treated the same, a level playing field. I want a country where atheist, muslim, christian, jew, all are equals, no free passes, no special treatment. No more ‘non-debates’ – climate change is real, evolution is a fact, nobody is getting ‘persecuted’, and nobody is better than anyone else.

Because let’s face it: religion tears down individuals, and rebuilds them. In the meantime, they get infused with all sorts of nonsense – the master-slave mentality, that precursor of xenophobia that is tribalism, that dishonest elevation of the religious person being ‘saved’ (which is shorthand for un-equal).

So here’s to the end of a pretty decent year overall, and hopefully more inroads will be paved for the secular folk that are to come.


Till the next post then.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Actual Journalistic Integrity: Words Mean Nothing

Cross posted  @ the Atheist Oasis

“Actions not words bespeak me” – Unknown.
I actually rather appreciate the sentiment, but not the event that prompted it:
Daily News provokes with cover on Calif. shooting: ‘God isn’t fixing this’
The front cover of the New York Daily News for Thursday takes a strong stance against how some politicians are reacting to the San Bernardino shooting with calls for prayer instead of tighter gun control laws.
The headline says, “God Isn’t Fixing This.”
“As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes,” the cover reads.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP presidential hopefuls Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham all responded to the attack with tweets about “prayers” for the victims of San Bernardino.
The Daily News’ tweeted image of its provocative front page is currently the most retweeted of 2015 for the news organization, according to Twitter.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, took a different tone and called for “action” to stop gun violence.
President Obama underscored the need for stronger gun control laws in the United States after Wednesday’s mass shooting, which left at least 14 dead and 14 wounded.
“There’s some steps we could take, not to eliminate every one of the mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently,” Obama told CBS News.
Some twitter users also called out for more congressional action.
David Mignery tweeted “@SpeakerRyan We need more from you than prayers.”
But others tweeted that calling for prayer should not be mocked at a time like this.
Yes, because prayer comes down HARD on people who mock it. Oh, wait. It does absolutely no such thing. It does not take guns out of the hands of anyone, it changes no minds, it alters nothing in the slipstream of reality. A prayer is an unanswered knee-mail that accidentally comes true once in a blue moon, but only because the person praying is asking for something available.
Of course the spineless Republicans are caterwauling for prayer. It fixes zero, it maintains the status quo, it’s a crippled placebo that works on the more feeble of minds. It also keeps the NRA lobbyists off their backs.
So get off your knees: nobody’s home nobody up there not even a ghost in a machine or a brain in a vat.
We are all alone here, so let’s take care of each other, and stop passing the buck to someone who doesn’t exist.
Till the next post then.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Republicans Gone Retarded: The ‘Donald’ Trumps The 1st Amendment

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

Honestly, I know I bang on about Islam, how it’s barbaric, how it’s a vast steaming pile of supernatural crap – and yes, there are occasions where I advocate the actual shooting of some of these people, but not full scale (there are millions of Muslims I don’t have a real problem, I can’t tell them what to do, think, say etc.). But in this country, there are no (and should never be) a ‘thought’ police, or better yet, a ‘secular’ police. Just like there shouldn’t be a ‘morals squad’ anywhere in the known world.

And when it comes to reality, maybe the ‘Donald’ should actually become an apprentice to a politician with ethics (yeah I know, an oxymoron) or somebody who actually understands the constitution.

  Donald Trump: Ban all Muslim travel to U.S.

  (CNN)Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

  "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said.
      Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., made his latest controversial call in a news release. His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to "turn against one another" out of fear.

      Trump's comments are likely to roil the Republican presidential race, forcing many of his opponents for the nomination to engage in a debate over whether there should be a religious test to enter America.

      But his proposal was met with enthusiasm by many of his supporters, who showed their approval via social media as well as at his rally on Monday night.

      "I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them. The reason is simple: we can't identify what their attitude is," said 75-year-old Charlie Marzka of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

      Moreover, the Muslim travel ban will likely do little to dent Trump's own popularity among Republican primary voters. The billionaire businessman has dominated the GOP contest for months despite repeated controversies that would likely sink other White House hopefuls.

      "Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine," Trump said in a statement. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."

      Trump's campaign added in the release that such a ban should remain in effect "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

      The release pointed to an online poll from the controversial Center for Security Policy, which claimed that a quarter of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans is justified as part of a global jihadist campaign. Critics have questioned the reliability of the organization's information. It also pointed to a Pew Research poll, which the campaign declined to identify, which the campaign claimed points to "great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population."

      Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN on Monday that the ban would apply not just to Muslim foreigners looking to immigrate to the U.S., but also to Muslims looking to visit the U.S. as tourists.

      "Everyone," Lewandowski said when asked if the ban would also apply to Muslim tourists.

      "Great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to," said Trump in an additional statement Lewandowski provided to CNN. "We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again."

      Trump confirmed that his policy would not apply to current Muslims in the U.S. during a Fox News interview on Monday evening.

      "I have Muslim friends, Greta, and they're wonderful people. But there's a tremendous section and cross-section of Muslims living in our country who have tremendous animosity," he told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. "It does not apply to people living in the country, except we have to be vigilant."

    That old trope from Franklin seems salient: 'Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.'

    And all I can think when Donald Chump blathers on is, ‘Oh, great. ANOTHER moronic Republican president who’s going to fuck this country right up.’

    There oughta be a law. No, better yet, there should be a test. See if any of these mental midgets are qualified to hold office. And denial of reality should be an automatic flunk. You know, people who deny climate change, evolution, all those key NON-ISSUES.

    Till the next post then.


    Sunday, December 06, 2015

    More On The Madness Of Muslims: Self-Radicalizers?

    Muslim-Cartoon1This latest tragedy has been splashed across the pages lately (Web pages? Does that metaphor still work?)

    California shooters likely planned multiple attacks

    U.S. investigators are increasingly convinced the California shooters planned multiple attacks, given their stockpile of weapons, and are looking at whether the Pakistani woman involved radicalized her American husband, officials said on Sunday.

    Investigators believe the weapons cache collected by Tashfeen Malik, 29, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, points to more attacks but they do not have evidence on other possible targets, a senior U.S. government source told Reuters.

    The couple stormed a gathering of his work colleagues in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday, opening fire with assault-style rifles and killing 14 people. The pair were killed a few hours later in a shootout with police.

    U.S. authorities were trying to learn what contacts Malik might have had with Islamic militants in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where she grew up, the official said on condition of anonymity.

    They lack clear evidence that the wife was radicalized overseas or that she in turn radicalized her husband, though they are actively investigating that, the official said.

    Authorities are investigating the shootings as an act of terrorism. President Barack Obama scheduled an Oval Office address Sunday to outline how the country is responding to the broader threat of terrorism.

    Malik's estranged relatives in Pakistan have said she appeared to have abandoned the family's moderate Islam and become more radicalized in Saudi Arabia, where she moved as a toddler.

    She returned to Pakistan and studied pharmacy at Bahauddin Zakaria University in Multan from 2007 to 2012.

    "There's a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi," U.S. Representative Michael McCaul said on "Fox News Sunday." "We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook's radicalization from within the United States."

    "The wild card here is the wife Malik," said McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He said investigators were also looking at where they got the money to acquire the guns.

    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said U.S. authorities have no evidence that the shooters were part of a larger terrorism cell but were working with their counterparts overseas to gather information about their lives.

    "We are trying to learn everything we can about both of these individuals," Lynch said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It will be a long process, it will be an exhaustive process."

    "And we are trying to learn as much as we can about her life before they met, after they met and frankly, after she came here as well. What we are trying to focus on again is what motivated these two individuals."

    McCaul said it was unclear what ties the couple had with the Islamic State, which has said the pair were "followers." At a minimum, he said, the militant group inspired the attack. Malik is believed to have pledged allegiance to the group in a Facebook posting shortly before the shooting.

    "We have the computers. We have the devices. We are currently going through the forensics," he said. "The investigation is ongoing to find out what is precisely the connection between ISIS, say, in Raqqa and in the United States, and what was going on."

    McCaul also noted that Farook had a large arsenal of semi-automatic guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and pipe bombs.

    "We are looking at the terrorist financing aspect to this case. I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own," said McCaul.

    U.S. officials have acknowledged they had no information about the couple before the killing other than routine matters related to Malik's immigration status in the United States.

    Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, said the case illustrates the difficulties in detecting self-radicalized attackers. "That's a very real challenge and it's one that preceded ISIL and I presume one that will endure beyond ISIL and its defeat," she said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

    The savage lie of the afterlife prompts events like this. If these two crazies had no belief in it, they likely wouldn’t have gone off and shot a bunch of innocent people. In fact, in all the major shootings and crimes, white collar or otherwise, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who DIDN’T believe in an afterlife. Some cheap rationalization of how it would be ‘judged’ or weighed or whatnot. The Pavlovian component is undeniable (unless you’re religious, in which case everything is subject to interpretation and then denial) – these idiots wanted to impress their slave master Allah. And of course, like all of the big 3 in monotheism, this requires blood.

    Judaism is now barely a blip on the radar press-wise, Christianity is slowly (TOO SLOWLY) mellowing out, now we’re stuck with the last of the savage creed, Islam.

    What we need now as a species, is to stop sugar coating reality, stop blindly obeying our less rational impulses (most adults should be able to, but can’t), and put aside this primitivistic nonsense. Our ancestors were for the most part, assholes. History was written by drunken teenagers. We are at this point now so much farther ahead than some of these pompous assholes they call ‘prophets’ – you know, those weird crazy assholes that wandered in out of the desert, driven so mad by heat and dehydration that their drooling gibberish should have earmarked them for a lunatic asylum, not a leadership role.

    Shooting someone doesn’t make someone’s epistemology correct. Nor does self-sacrifice. The only point religious violence makes, is that fantasy ideology makes for the worst of the worst, blood sacrifices made to a mad bloodthirsty imaginary friend.

    Till the next post then.