Not just Muslims

A lot of Americans hear about harsh Israeli measures inside the occupied territories, and assume that the Israelis are just defending themselves against terrorist organizations. (Assuming they hear anything at all about it, that is.) But Muslims aren’t the only non-Jews who are being subjected to oppressive travel restrictions, economic sanctions, and the illegal destruction and seizure of private property. Palestinian Christians are also being driven out.

The way Amal sees it, the Israeli military and the settlers, having failed to evict the family by legal means, are now trying to force them out. She remembers the settlers who uprooted 250 young olive trees in 2002, and who permanently closed the road to the farm with rubble. The demolition orders posted on the gate, threatening to destroy the Nassars’ home and water wells. The soldiers who, in 2009, forced her 72-year-old mother out of bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night and made her wait in the cold while they searched the farm.

On this day in history…

I’m sure lots of things happened on Dec. 25th over the years, but as far as history can tell us, none of them involved any virgin giving birth to a baby named Jesus. Although later Gospel accounts have stories about Jesus being born, none of them tell us what day that was, or even give us any clear indication of what time of year. It wasn’t until centuries later that Christians are reported as associating any particular holy day with the story of “The Nativity.”

That’s rather interesting, because it’s consistent with the theory that Jesus was not, in fact, ever born.

[Read more…]

News Flash

I happened to get a quick bite of lunch at our local McDonald’s this afternoon, and the lady at the drive thru window handed me my bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. And do you know what I, a secular, liberal, godless heathen said? I wished her a Merry Christmas right back, just like I always do.

I’m still waiting for the crack investigative reporting team from Fox News to show up and investigate this mysterious cultural anomaly.

Homeopathic government

I usually struggle to understand conservative politics, but this morning I had a thought that might explain a lot. What if conservatives are trying to apply homeopathy as a societal/political remedy as well as a “medical” one? Homeopathy tries to treat diseases by applying doses of the original pathogen causing the problem, so why not try to solve other problems the same way? Too much gun violence in America? Just add more guns! Budget deficit? Make it harder to collect revenue! Refugee problem? Make more refugees!

It’s all part of the same mind-set that thinks the answer to abortion is to deny women access to birth control and reproductive health services. If you want to solve a problem, just take steps to make the problem worse. Homeopath all the things!

Hey, it probably works just as well in government as it does in medicine, right?

Top 10 Reasons Santa is better than Jesus

Oh look, just a few weeks until Christmas, and that means it’s time once again for our annual list of Top Ten Reasons Santa is Better than Jesus! Let’s start.

10. Santa does not endorse multiple assholes from the same political party as presidential candidates. In fact, he doesn’t endorse any political candidates or parties.

9. If you’re bad, Santa gives you a lump of coal, he doesn’t try to turn you into one.

8. Santa comes to town riding a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer; Jesus came to town, once, riding someone else’s ass (which seems to have become a tradition among some of his followers, by the way).

7. Jesus says he loves little kids, but Santa actually lets them sit in his lap.

6. Santa doesn’t spend all his time obsessing over how other people have sex.

5. Santa can run his whole enterprise, year after year, without begging for donations or demanding government funding.

4. Some of history’s worst atrocities and injustices have been committed by people who believe in Jesus, but NONE of them have been committed by people who believe in Santa.

3. You don’t have to devote your life to figuring out a collection of 66 books full of obscure, archaic, and contradictory teachings—Santa is satisfied if you’re just reasonably good most of the time.

2. Santa cares enough to come back every year. And he shows up on time, too! We’re going on 2,000 years since Jesus told his apostles that some of them would see his kingdom come.

And my number one reason why Santa is better than Jesus:
[Read more…]

Great moments in public security

Problem: Any Syrian refugee might be a terrorist in disguise.
Solution: Ban all Syrian refugees.

Problem: Anyone using the women’s rest room might be a rapist in disguise.
Solution: Close all public rest rooms.

Problem: Some Muslims killed a horrifying number of innocent victims.
Solution: Assume all Muslims are potential terrorists until proven otherwise.

Problem: Some theists killed a horrifying number of innocent victims.
Solution: Assume all theists are potential terrorists until proven otherwise.

Problem: Some Muslims want to destroy America.
Solution: Assume all Muslims want to destroy America.

Problem: Some Christians sodomize altar boys.
Solution: Assume all Christians are pedophiles.

Problem: Anyone driving a car might be a drunk driver.
Solution: Ban all driving.

Problem: Some men are rapists, muggers, murderers, or thieves.
Solution: Ban all men.

I realize these measures may seem extreme to some, but these are difficult times, and the only way to be absolutely safe is to commit ourselves to blind, unreasoning prejudice wherever possible. Vote Republican! Homeland über alles! Sieg heil!

You first

Panicked politicos, in Washington and elsewhere, are using the Paris attacks to push for even greater and more invasive government surveillance of individuals. They’re blaming encryption and other privacy measures for “allowing” ISIS terrorists to coordinate their attacks undetected. They want to end the technology that makes privacy possible, and leave everyone effectively naked to Big Brother’s all-seeing eye.

So I tell you what. You say it’s dangerous to let people have secrets, Mr. Politico? Let’s start with yours then. You want to put an end to dangerous secrets, let’s start by ending this ridiculous notion of “state secrets.” A corrupt government has far more power to do harm than any individual. If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn’t have anything to hide, amirite? What are you not telling us about your own contributions to the rise of ISIS? What flaws and faults are you hiding that will continue to endanger us because you prevent us from knowing you have them? What crimes are you committing, in the dark, that are going to come back to bite us?

Your secrets are far more dangerous than ours, and our privacy is far more vital to liberty than the government’s. You want to howl for an end to secrets, knock yourself out. But if it comes time to surrender someone’s privacy, you go first.

Strategic vision

There are millions of Muslim and/or Arabic immigrants in the West, in both Europe and America. The ones that have embraced their new homes are not interested in joining ISIS or going on any suicide mission, with the key phrase being “new home.” Those that feel welcome, comfortable, and accepted in the West, are poor candidates for ISIS recruiting.

ISIS knows this, which is why their strategy is based on trying to drive a deep wedge between Westerners and the Muslim citizens of Western nations. Those who dismiss suicidal terrorist attacks as “self-defeating,” and who advocate retaliation against Muslims and Arabs, are an important part of ISIS’s hope for future recruiting within the borders of our various homelands.

Dr. Ben Carson, come on down.

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Friday that in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the United States should block refugees from the Middle East from coming to the United States…

“I would be working with our allies using every resource known to man in terms of economic resources, in terms of covert resources, overt resources, military resources, things that they don’t know about — resources,” he said. “In an attempt not to contain them but to eliminate them before they eliminate us. We have to recognize that the global Islamic movement is an existential threat — it’s very different than anything we’ve ever faced before.” [Emph. added.]

It’s just like Jesus used to say, “If any man smite thee on thy right cheek, eliminate him, his family, his neighbors, and anyone who shares his religious views, before they eliminate thee.”

[Read more…]

That was then

This Starbucks “tempest in a red cup” has me thinking. When I was a kid, I remember Christians being saddened and upset by the commercialization of Christmas and the increasing tendency of merchants and manufacturers to appropriate Christmas messages as a way of promoting their products for materialistic profits. Today’s Christians howl and threaten boycotts against vendors who fail to commercialize Christmas enough. And when I look at the gap between then and now, I see Rupert Murdock buying a network, and using it to spread pro-business propaganda dressed up as traditional conservatism, or conservative traditionalism, or whatever you want to call it.

Coincidence?